LA County Seal

Los Angeles County’s five supervisors took a step Tuesday — over the objections of labor groups — toward approving a new set of rules that would require a four-fifths vote for any salary or benefit increases in union contracts.

By Abby Sewell
August 12, 2014

Los Angeles County’s five supervisors took a step Tuesday — over the objections of labor groups — toward approving a new set of rules that would require a four-fifths vote for any salary or benefit increases in union contracts.

The proposal by Supervisor Don Knabe was touted as a means to preserve the county’s fiscal health, but unions decried it as an attempt to tie the hands of new supervisors who will take office after November’s election.

“To bind a future board to 80%, make a majority get vetoed by a minority, is really an extreme case,” Bob Schoonover, president of Service Employees International Union Local 721, told the officials. SEIU represents about half the county’s more than 100,000 employees.

Schoonover told the board to “have a little faith in the voters that elect people to this body, think about how you would feel if you were coming into this board and this policy was being adopted before you got here, what kind of message would that send to you as a newly elected board member?”

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