Monday, September 10, 2012 – 09:15 a.m.

A new retroactive four-year labor agreement between San Bernardino County and the San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association (SEBA) is a major victory for the union representing Deputy Sheriff’s and District Attorney Investigators.

The agreement, overwhelmingly approved by SEBA’s  Safety Unit, pretty much preserves existing compensation levels.

The county, for nearly two years, been claiming that it needed significant concessions from the union to fill an immediate budget gap, apparently didn’t really need much of anything.

Union members agreed to essentially pay the equivalent of an additional 4.50% of their compensation into the county pension system. In-turn, the county agreed to forgo an ongoing 2.50% of compensation union members have been paying into the pension system. The members have been paying the extra amount since the onset of an enhanced retirement formula in 2005.

Union members also agreed to some concessions that don’t really save the county any significant money in the near or intermediate term.

Those concessions include:

  • New members receiving a reduced pension formula with an extended retirement age.
  • New and existing members will receive annual merit raises of 2.5%, instead of 5.0%.
  • Reduced compensatory time accrual for new and existing members.

More painful pension changes will occur at the end of the new agreement, when new state pension reforms must be incorporated into any new contract.