By: OC Supervisor Todd Spitzer (Portions Courtesy of County Executive Office)
The Alliance of Orange County Workers, representing operations and maintenance employees, is the latest bargaining union to approve a new labor agreement with the County.
“This agreement delivers critical cost savings for taxpayers by addressing escalating health insurance costs but also provides fair compensation for these employees,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “This agreement shows consensus and compromise are possible to reach the best interests of both workers and taxpayers.”
The agreement was ratified last month by AOCW for a term extending from December 17, 2013, to June 11, 2015. AOCW represents 432 employees employed in 30 different classifications within the County, including airport maintenance workers, automotive mechanics, custodians, laborers, park maintenance workers and power/landfill equipment operators.
The previous contract for AOCW expired in 2012. In May 2012, the parties entered into lengthy negotiations culminated with several proposals exchanged throughout October and November.
The ratified agreement reflects the Board of Supervisors’ desire to address escalating health-insurance costs with its employee groups. AOCW members already pay their full employee share toward their pensions. Additionally, new operations and maintenance workers will be hired under a lower pension benefit now in effect for all new hires, reflecting the stark fiscal realities facing the County.
“We’re thankful to the AOCW for working with us to reach an agreement that recognizes the budgetary strain on the County as well as the hard work these employees provide to the public,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson said.
The County is still negotiating with four of seven unions who have not yet signed labor contracts. Additionally, talks are being initiated with the Orange County Managers Association to replace their current agreement