Thursday, June 26, 2014 – 07:00 p.m.
A holdout San Bernardino County bargaining unit, represented by the San Bernardino Public Employees Association (SBPEA), rejected a contract offer for the third time on Wednesday evening, according to the union’s website.
The Professional Unit, comprised of more than 800 county employees, appears to have had it, with SBPEA, and is seeking new representation from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), an AFL-CIO member.
The latest rejection, by a 54% to 46% margin, clears the path for the unit to do just that.
The current contract in effect for the unit is set to expire at midnight Friday night, June 28. That expiration opens the door for unit members to request a decertification of SBPEA, and the calling of a representation election.
Current county law requires SEIU to collect the signatures of at least 40% of the members in the Professional Unit. SEIU reportedly has already secured the number needed.
This weeks developments is another blow to SBPEA, which has been struggling to represent its memebers for more than two decades.
It should be noted that San Bernardino County’s general employees are some of the lowest paid in the Inland Empire.
SBPEA, at one time, represented eight county bargaining units. Now that number, should SEIU be successful, could fall to five.
The county, in a “We’ll show you who’s boss.” move, cut the original signing bonus by 50%, in its latest offer. An obviously not-so-brilliant stunt, in the end!
Once SEIU files a petition for decertification, any agreemnt SBPEA might try and make, with the county, could not stop the vote.