Wednesday, November 11, 2015 – 08:30 a.m.

The largest union representing San Bernardino County workers, Teamsters Local 1932, has set a contract ratification vote in motion.

Probably under the working premise that something is better than nothing, the essentially four-year deal doles out a back-loaded cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) averaging between 1.25% to 2% per year, over the term of the proposed contract.

The COLA amount is dependent on an employees longevity.

Employees also secured the usual equity raise ingredient for “certain” classifications, along with a small increase toward health benefits.

The San Bernardino Public Employees Association (SBPEA), hoping to improve its luck at the bargaining table, voted to affiliate with the Teamsters earlier this year. Now we can see the result of that move. Before the affiliation, SBPEA was essentially useless.

So on this point, and this point alone, the change is an improvement.

However, when a labor contract is being considered, and the terms are not in plain view, one can conclude it’s not a stellar deal.

The latest employment report, released by the U.S. Department of Labor last Friday, showed wage growth now at a 2.5% annual rate. The number has been slowly rising over the past year.

County workers in this deal have secured a number that’s statistically far less than the national average.

San Bernardino County workers are, and will continue to be, paid far less than most Inland Empire jurisdictions.

It’s the county that’s the clear winner here!