Contract Update

Monday, March 14, 2016
In order to conclude mediation, a mandatory step in the impasse process, we had to contact the Mediator see if she would waive the other two "mandatory" meetings. Theoretically Mediation is to consist of three meetings. When the Mediator asked if another meeting with OCA might be fruitful I directed our attorneys to reach out to OCA to see if there was any change in the compensation package. When the reply was that they don't know until the budget is passed I said, "Enough!" Since we can always still negotiate along the way I directed our counsel to reach out to PERB to put together the Fact Finding panel. They have and we are waiting to find out who the Fact Finder(s) is. The Fact Finder is authorized to hold hearings and take oral and written evidence and argument.

Our job is to now put together an argument as to why COBANC should receive a better compensation package then the eight other unions that already ratified a contract. We will be looking into geographic pay increase, cost of living increases, expanded duty pay and the value of getting the job done with 20% less staff.

The Fact Finder will render a report that is not binding; but a favorable report would finally put pressure back on OCA to increase the compensation package... because if it's not enough it then goes to the Legislature who is empowered to but does not want to impose a contract on COBANC. That's when there will be meaningful conversations with OCA for them to "get real, or else." And that is why I am meeting with them now to let them know what's coming. They've never had to decide a contract - and they don't want to. Best guess estimates are that fact finding will take anywhere from 6 months to a year.

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