Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 112484
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File Number: 112484 File Type: Resolution Status: Deferred by the Board
Version: 0 Reference: Control: County Commission
File Name: PBA COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IMPASSE AGREEMENT Introduced: 11/28/2011
Requester: Internal Services Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 1/5/2012 Agenda Item Number: 8F3
Notes: SEE 112484 FOR FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED 120118.TLL- 11/28/2011 Title: RESOLUTION RESOLVING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IMPASSE BETWEEN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY AND THE DADE COUNTY POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION – LAW ENFORCEMENT SUPERVISORY UNIT
Indexes: BARGAINING AGREEMENT
  POLICE BENEVOLENT
Sponsors: NONE
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 1/5/2012 8F3 Amended
REPORT: (SEE RELATED AGENDA ITEM 8F3 AMENDED, LEGISLATIVE FILE NUMBER 120033, FOR AMENDED VERSION)

Board of County Commissioners 12/19/2011 8F3 Carried over 1/5/2012
REPORT: County Attorney Robert Cuevas read into the record the title of the foregoing resolution. Mr. John Rivera, President of the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), appeared before the Board and requested that PBA’s collective bargaining agreement be deferred to a time certain since the labor union’s expert witnesses were unavailable to provide testimony due to the prolonged meeting. Consequently, the collective bargaining unit felt prejudiced because the inability to present issues properly and the right to have a fair hearing were impeded due to the time restraints imposed; and the Board’s role was to serve as hearing officers at this hearing. He stated the opportunities to provide testimony and cross-examine witnesses at this hearing were diminished, and the Board should schedule a meeting dedicated to hear the testimony and the presentations since this procedure was the equivalent to a court hearing. He stated the legislative rights of the PBA membership should not be waived, and PBA had planned a lengthy presentation. Mr. Donald Slesnick stated he represented the Government Supervisors Association of Florida (GSAF), OPEIU, Local 100 - Professional Employees, which had a membership of 4,700 employees. He advised that he was not before the Board today as a litigant; but as agreed with the Mayor, the collective bargaining unit wished to work with the Board to identify a resolution, as required by state statute, to the best interest of the public and the employees and to resolve an unusual collective bargaining agreement impasse reached at the negotiating table. He noted that the Board served as a quasi-judicial legislative body under State statute; and this hearing should have been scheduled time certain and considered as a time certain item, even though it was a public hearing. He also noted the collective bargaining unit was very disadvantaged at this time due to the inability to present the issues properly at today’s hearing, the time restraints imposed, the manner in which it was addressed, failure to schedule it time certain, and public notice. He stated the GSAF would not waive their legislative rights either, and it would to everyone’s interest to defer the item. In response to Chairman Martinez’s question regarding whether the collective bargaining unit preferred to defer the item, Mr. Rivera advised PBA’s membership had been prejudiced and disadvantaged; and the item should have been scheduled time certain. Mr. Slesnick advised he had discussed this issue earlier last week with the County Attorney’s Office and Miami-Dade’s Labor Relations Division, and he had implored this item be addressed properly. He noted that he had also spoken with the Chairman, who had expressed great concern for this issue; and the Chairman had called the County Attorney’s Office to change his position on this issue. Chairman Martinez advised he had questioned whether the item was a public hearing, how the item should have been noticed, related legal issues and opinion, what it entailed, and how the item greatly impacted him. He noted the county attorneys had expressed different opinions in terms of the public hearing definition; but based on the definition, the item was considered a public hearing when in really it was not. County Attorney Cuevas advised that, given the context of that particular statute and the term public hearing, it was not a public hearing in the sense of how it was normally conducted whereby every member of the public had the right to appear and make a presentation such as a budget hearing. He stated that the County Attorney’s Office position was that the affected parties and their representatives had the ability to make presentations before this Board; and in addition, this Board controlled the agenda and had the discretion to determine the procedural rules and the amount of time wishing to devote to this item. He advised it was really a question of how the Board wished to proceed, the hearing had been properly noticed, and to resolve the issues as the Board deemed appropriate. In response to Chairman Martinez’s question, Mayor Gimenez advised the deferral would delay imposing the 5% employees’ contribution towards healthcare issue; and those collective bargaining agreements were already ratified. He stated that the impact depended on the length of time it would take to impose the 5% employees’ contribution, and the only pending issue before the Board today was the impasse relating to the 5% employees’ contribution representing $35 million in revenues, $18 million from the PBA, and $17 million from the GSAF, which represented approximately $1.5 million per payroll period if divided by the 26 payroll periods. In response to Chairman Martinez’s inquiry regarding the total revenues in question for all collective bargaining agreements under the impasse provision, Mayor Gimenez advised the total revenues realized from the 5% employees’ contribution towards healthcare costs represented $88 million; and every collective bargaining agreement represented a different savings amount. He noted those employees under the purview of the County administration, particularly under his supervision, had already began to contribute that additional 5% since June 2012 or August 2012 at the latest. He stated every collective bargaining unit under the impasse provision had a different dollar amount depending on the delay. In response to Chairman Martinez’s request, Mayor Gimenez advised he would provide the Chairman at a later time the information regarding the total savings per contract for the other collective bargaining agreements under impasse provisions. Budget Director Jennifer Moon, Office of Management and Budget, advised that the total 5% employees’ contribution towards healthcare costs totaled $88 million. She noted it had already been imposed on non bargaining employees like the Aviation Department, AFSCME Local 1542, which had been ratified; and the Fire Department, IAFF, had identified alternative savings. She advised the County had realized $65 million in savings, representing a $2.5 million savings per payroll period. Following a brief discussion regarding the amount for each collective bargaining agreement, Chairman Martinez clarified that the Board would only resolve at today’s hearing $35 million in savings out of the total of $65 million. Commissioner Diaz expressed his disagreement in regards to not allowing the survivors to speak before the Board, and he asked that the collective bargaining agreements be deferred until after the holidays in order to provide adequate time to hear everyone. It was moved by Commissioner Diaz that the Board of County Commissioners defer Agenda Items 8F3, 8F4, 8F6, and 8F8 until January 2012. The motion was not seconded. Chairman Martinez opened the floor for discussion, emphasizing that he wished to hear from all interested parties. Commissioner Suarez suggested the items be bifurcated to hear testimony today. Commissioner Bell expressed her preference to hear the speakers today. She suggested that the items be bifurcated to hear testimony from all those wishing to speak and make presentations today and have the Board take a vote at a later time separately. County Attorney Cuevas recommended the testimony for each collective bargaining unit under impasse be heard separately. Commissioner Sosa suggested that the Board allow labor union representatives to determine whether to make their presentations today or have the items deferred until January 2012. Following a brief discussion in connection with the Board’s Rules of Procedure for time certain, Mr. Slesnick commented that bifurcating the hearing would be disruptive and would not contribute any savings to the County. He clarified that the affected persons, who had sat in the audience all day, had requested the deferral; and quasi judicial hearings were always scheduled time certain in order to have available the necessary witnesses and properly plan for the presentation. He also stated that traditionally, in the labor/employer relationship business in the public sector, impasses were scheduled time certain. He reiterated this was not a traditional impasse since it had not been heard from a Special Master, who would have forwarded a recommendation after having heard all of the testimony and considered all of the evidence. Mr. Rivera commented the Board had the discretion to set the time, and he cautioned the Board that the State of Florida statutes required that a reasonable amount of time be provided to the speakers. He noted that, if the Board established a time limitation for witnesses like it was typically done, it might hamper the presentation; therefore, the Board needed to provide adequate time to make the presentations. He stated that the collective bargaining units had the statutory right to make their presentations with expert witnesses and other witnesses. He also expressed his disagreement with the statement that members of the audience were not allowed to speak inasmuch as those individuals were also their witnesses, and the Board’s refusal to allow those persons to speak before this body would be completely unfair. Chairman Martinez mentioned the motion to defer was not seconded. In response to Chairman Martinez’s question, Mr. Rivera responded the PBA’s membership also wished to have the item deferred. Commissioner Jordan requested Mayor Gimenez to prepare a written report outlining all alternative recommendations proposed by all collective bargaining units and/or the County administration for the County’s administration consideration whether the recommendations had been rejected or accepted including the dollar amount that would have been saved from each alternative recommendation proposed and the labor union associated to each recommendation. She also requested that the written report be prepared for the next Board meeting. County Attorney Cuevas clarified that each labor union had signed collective agreements resolving all issues between management and labor unions except this issue relating to the 5% employees’ contribution towards healthcare costs, and the question before the Board today was whether employees should contribute up to 5% or not. He reiterated that management and labor unions had already signed written collective bargaining agreements, and all terms were binding by those agreements and fixed. Commissioner Jordan noted the Board should consider the other alternative recommendations proffered in addition to the terms already agreed upon. County Attorney Cuevas reiterated that the issue before the Board was the impasse on whether employees should contribute an additional 5% or not, and he clarified that the Board was not bargaining from this dais. In response to Commissioner Jordan’s inquiry, County Attorney Cuevas responded that the signed collective bargaining agreements would have to be reopened and amended in order to be able to consider any other alternatives other than the 5% employees’ contribution. He advised that the Board could reopen and renegotiate the collective bargaining agreements; but it would require returning the contracts to the County administration to have those agreements renegotiated with the labor unions. He explained the item presented before the Board today was to determine whether to impose the additional 5% employees’ contribution towards healthcare costs. Mayor Gimenez noted there were recommendations proffered to the union, which added to the $18 million; and those recommendations were rejected by the labor unions. He stated there were also other alternative recommendations proffered by the labor unions, which were also rejected by the County administration due to lack of verifiability. He noted that all other issues were resolved except the additional 5% employees’ contribution, which was not acceptable to the labor unions. Commissioner Jordan reiterated she wished to have the written report prepared outlining all recommendations proffered by labor unions and management whether accepted or rejected. Mr. Rivera commented on how difficult it had been to negotiate the collective bargaining agreements with the County’s administration. Mr. Slesnick stated that GSAF’s membership had already made over $30 million in concessions representing approximately 18% of the employees’ total income, and labor unions were only asking to have this particular issue litigated with the Board. He noted this issue was being presented before the Board because employees had already made a great contribution in an effort to help bridge the financial gap, and the members of GSAF wished to work as partners of the County instead of foes. Commissioner Sosa seconded the motion to defer Agenda Items 8F3, 8F4, 8F6, and 8F8. In connection with Commissioner Sosa’s inquiry, County Attorney Cuevas reiterated that the only issue before the Board was whether to impose the 5% employees’ contribution towards healthcare costs; and the Board had the discretion to determine the amount of the contribution percentage up to 5%. In response to Commissioner Sosa’s inquiry, County Attorney Cuevas advised it was a matter of policy between the Mayor and the Board as to how to finance the County’s financial gap if employees contributed less than five percent or no contribution. He noted the Board could not increase property taxes, but the Board would have to amend the budget to adjust expenditures and allocations. Commissioner Sosa requested that Mayor Gimenez prepare a written comparison analysis report encompassing the last eight years outlining the wage percentage increase per year for each labor union to include all fringe benefits negotiated, all wage reductions imposed, and other benefit concessions made by each labor union. In response to Chairman Martinez’s inquiry, Mr. Rivera advised that the PBA had made several proposals to the County administration; but none of those recommendations were seriously considered by the County administration. He noted the Board had the ability to identify another funding source anywhere else within the County’s budget, and the PBA’s recommendations should be considered. Chairman Martinez expressed his disagreement with the deferral. He explained his reasons for disagreeing with the motion to defer, and he believed the item should be heard today. He noted that, he believed, the mandatory 5% employees’ contribution towards healthcare costs was illegal and that was the reason the consulting firm refused to provide a legal opinion. He noted that, as a result, the County had to request a legal opinion from another firm. He also stated that, he believed, there was no equity in the percentage of the contribution; and the contribution should be enforced on all County employees. He further added that the 5% contribution was also imposed on part-time employees who were not provided with healthcare insurance coverage. Commissioner Diaz stated that he wished to provide a forum for full disclosure of all related issues and hear from every member of the audience wishing to address this legislative body. He noted it had come to his attention certain persons would be unable to address the Board due to not being part of the entities allowed to speak. County Attorney Cuevas advised that the Board had the discretion to establish the procedural process as deemed appropriate. He stated that both parties would have to agree to amend the collective bargaining agreements if the Board addressed issues beyond the impasse related issue, which was the issue all parties agreed to present; but the Board ultimately decided the process, the time allowed for witnesses to testify, and how to move forward. In response to Commissioner Diaz’s question as to whether the Board had the prerogative to make any other determination other than to say yes or no, County Attorney Cuevas clarified the decision was to determine whether the employees’ contribution of up to 5% should be imposed or not unless the Board wished to amend the collective bargaining agreements. Following a brief discussion on how other impasse issues were addressed in the past, County Attorney Cuevas advised other collective bargaining agreements under impasse would have been addressed in a similar manner; but he had no recollection of an impasse recently. Discussion ensued regarding whether there had been other collective bargaining agreements in impasse in the past. Commissioner Diaz expressed his concerns regarding the Board’s limitations on how to resolve this issue and did not wish to bifurcate, and he expressed his unwillingness to be limited to a yes or no vote only. He noted that he did not wish to be rushed through the issue. In response to Commissioner Souto’s question, Mr. Rivera explained the PBA had prepared a presentation for today’s Board meeting; and the presentation, in his perspective, was damaged due to their inability to present the testimony of expert witnesses and present the case properly. Discussion ensued regarding the labor union’s inability to properly present their case before the Board at today’s hearing and the possibility of risking a court challenge. Commissioner Heyman commented that items scheduled time certain were in most cases not heard at the advertised time. She expressed her wish not to defer the items, and she advised the term of public hearing needed to be qualified. She also expressed her concerns for the references made to on the impasse issue of “up to 5% contribution” and “or not.” In response to Commissioner Heyman’s question, County Attorney Cuevas advised the Board’s decision would be binding. In response to Commissioner Heyman’s inquiry, County Attorney Cuevas responded the impasse issue relating to the collective bargaining agreements was whether employees shall be required to contribute an additional percentage amount not to exceed 5% of the employee’s base wage towards the County’s healthcare costs effective upon ratification. Commissioner Heyman reiterated her disagreement with the deferral of the items. Following a discussion on the need to resolve the impasse issue and the consequences of deferring the items, Chairman Martinez noted the Budget Director had indicated that the monetary impact from the employees’ contribution became effective in January 2012 because the funding from vacant positions covered the County’s budget deficit through December 2011. Mayor Gimenez advised a memorandum had been sent to Chairman Martinez detailing the revenues identified to resolve the budgetary deficit and notifying that the revenues from frozen vacant positions would provide a funding cushion up to the first quarter of FY2011-12. He advised there were no revenues available to fund the budgetary deficit after the first quarter; therefore, the impasse issue needed to be resolved as soon as possible for the best interest of everyone affected. Chairman Martinez noted the items could probably be deferred until the first week in January 2012 based on the information previously provided by the Budget Director. Discussion ensued regarding the issues of the savings the County would realize by resolving the issue immediately, when the contracts were ratified, the rules for reconsidering the collective bargaining agreements, and the insulation period. Mr. Slesnick expressed the wish of GSAF’s membership not to have the collective bargaining agreements reopened and renegotiated. He reiterated those agreements already contained several employees’ give backs; therefore, the labor unions’ membership were already contributors. In response to Commissioner Moss’s inquiries, Mayor Gimenez advised that the County had certain Emergency Contingency Reserves, which should not be utilized for that purpose; and the level of the reserve account was insufficient to be utilized. He also noted that there were no “me too” clauses in the collective bargaining agreements for this issue. In connection with Chairman Martinez’s comments regarding ratification of the collective bargaining agreements, County Attorney Cuevas advised PBA’s collective bargaining agreements were approved on December 6, 2011, as Items 8F10 and 8F12; therefore, the agreements were amenable to reconsideration. Discussion ensued regarding the use of the County’s Emergency Contingency Reserves Fund. Commissioner Jordan asked Mayor Gimenez to prepare a written report showing the table of organization for the County’s departmental reorganization and outlining the number of positions per department and the associated cost savings for each department and that she be provided with a copy of the report before this item was considered at the next Board meeting. Commissioner Diaz spoke in favor of deferral until January 2012, and he recommended that a full day be allotted to consider all issues of concern. County Attorney Cuevas clarified the motion on the floor deferred Agenda Items 8F3, 8F4, 8F6, and 8F8. There being no other comments or objections, the motion to defer Agenda Items 8F3, 8F4, 8F6, and 8F8 was put to a vote, and the motion passed by a show of hands vote of 10-3 (Commissioners Bell and Heyman and Chairman Martinez voted no). Upon consultation with the members of the Board and the representatives of the collective bargaining units, Chairman Martinez announced that the items would be scheduled for January 5, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., and he suggested that the items be advertised as public hearings. County Attorney Cuevas suggested today’s meeting be recessed until January 5, 2012. Pursuant to Chairman Martinez’s recommendation that a Special Meeting be scheduled to consider the items as public hearings, County Attorney Cuevas clarified the Board’s Rules of Procedures; and he noted it would require circulating a notice to collect seven signatures to approve the meeting. Chairman Martinez noted he would probably just recess today’s meeting. Upon the request of Chairman Martinez, a roll call of the members of the Board indicated all thirteen county commissioners would be present at the Board’s Special Meeting to be scheduled for January 5, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. Pursuant to Commissioner Diaz’s request to be apprised as to what the alternative solutions were, County Attorney Cuevas advised the answer was no since the Board was back to the insulated period provisions. Pursuant to Chairman Martinez’s suggestion to have those alternative solutions submitted in writing, Commissioner Jordan noted she had requested those recommendations. Assistant County Attorney Lee Kraftchick advised the insulation period would not prohibit collective bargaining units from making a statement in writing just like the Mayor had stated his position in writing; consequently, they would be able to submit their position in writing to the members of the Board and the public. Mr. Rivera stated that, the PBA believed, the insulation period could be waived in order to be able to provide the Board with the requested information; and in the spirit of cooperation, the PBA would be willing to do that. In response to Chairman Martinez’s inquiry, County Attorney Cuevas advised the insulation period could be waived if management and labor unions waived it. Pursuant to Commissioner Diaz’s inquiry, Mayor Gimenez noted he would think about waiving the insulation period. Chairman Martinez noted that, if the Mayor approved the waiver, the County administration would contact the labor unions. Mr. Rivera asked the waiver of the insulation period be provided in writing. Mr. Slesnick thanked all on behalf of the GSAF membership for working with them and considering what was best for everyone. Chairman Martinez advised that waiver of the insulation period would be inclusive of all labor unions if approved by the Mayor. Mr. Slesnick advised the GSAF would be willing to waive the insulation period. Mayor Gimenez stated he would waive the insulation period. Commissioner Moss clarified it would allow the Board to receive the recommendations set forth by the labor unions, and it would be to the best interest of the County to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Mr. Rivera made a closing statement asking the members of the Board to keep all survivals of police officers in their prayers and minds throughout the holiday season, and he wished them a happy holiday season and Kuanta. Pursuant to the County Attorney’s advice, Chairman Martinez clarified that the insulation waiver encompassed only the four collective bargaining agreements before the Board today and deferred. . .

Board of County Commissioners 12/6/2011 8F11 Deferred 12/19/2011 P
REPORT: During consideration of change to today’s (12/6) agenda, the foregoing proposed resolution was deferred to the December 19, 2011 Board of County Commission meeting, as requested by the Mayor.

County Mayor 12/5/2011 Deferrals 12/6/2011
REPORT: The Mayor requested deferral of this item to the December 19, 2011 Board of County Commissioners meeting.

County Mayor 11/28/2011 Assigned County Attorney 1/24/2012
REPORT: ISD (ASST. COUNTY ATTY: LEE KRAFTCHICK) (ATTACHMENT(S): Attachment 1) (NO BCC SPONSOR) (PENDING CMTE ASSIGNMENT) (LIST ON THE AGENDA AFTER LEGISTAR# 112483) (PENDING WAIVER FOR 12/6/2011)

County Mayor 11/28/2011 Assigned Ed Marquez 11/23/2011 11/23/2011

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION RESOLVING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IMPASSE BETWEEN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY AND THE DADE COUNTY POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION – LAW ENFORCEMENT SUPERVISORY UNIT

BODY
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County and the Dade County Police Benevolent Association – Law Enforcement Supervisory Unit, have negotiated for a reasonable period of time on a successor collective bargaining agreement to the agreement that expired on September 30, 2011; and

WHEREAS, the parties have reached an impasse in their negotiations on one item, an additional five percent (5%) of employee’s base wages towards the County’s cost of health care; and

WHEREAS, the parties have jointly agreed in writing to waive the appointment of a special magistrate and proceed directly to resolution of the impasse by the Board of County Commissioners; and

WHEREAS, this Board has conducted a public hearing at which the parties were required to explain their positions regarding the impasse in negotiations; and

WHEREAS, this Board, pursuant to Fla. Stat. Sec. 447.403, is required to take such action as it deems to be in the public interest, including the interest of the public employees involved, to resolve the disputed impasse issues; and

WHEREAS, the issue at impasse is wages, Article 35 of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association – Law Enforcement Supervisory Unit, October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2014 agreement,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board approves and ratifies the County Mayor’s recommendations for settling the collective bargaining impasse for the reasons set forth in the County Mayor’s memorandum. The County Mayor and the Dade County Police Benevolent Association shall reduce to writing an agreement which includes those issues previously agreed to by the parties and the disputed impasse issue resolved herein. The written agreement shall be signed by the County Mayor and submitted to the bargaining unit for signature and ratification. If the bargaining unit fails to ratify the agreement, the action taken in this resolution shall take effect as of the date of this resolution and shall be effective for the first fiscal year that was the subject of negotiations (October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012).

HEADER
Date:

To: Honorable Chairman Joe A. Martinez
and Members, Board of County Commissioners

From: Carlos A. Gimenez
Mayor

Subject: Recommendation for Resolving the Collective Bargaining Impasse between Miami-Dade County and the Dade County Police Benevolent Association – Law Enforcement Supervisory Unit

STAFF RECOMMENDATION
Recommendation
It is recommended that the Board of County Commissioners resolve the collective bargaining impasse between Miami-Dade County and the Dade County Police Benevolent Association (PBA), by accepting the proposed additional five percent (5%) contribution of employees’ base wages to the County’s cost of health care as specified in Article 35 Wages of the successor 2011-14 Collective Bargaining Agreement between Miami-Dade County and the Dade County Police Benevolent Association – Law Enforcement Supervisory Unit (Attachment 1).

Scope

The impact of this agenda item is countywide.

Fiscal Impact/Funding Source

The FY 2011-12 Adopted Budget was predicated upon reducing labor costs for employees represented by PBA Supervisors by $4.603 million. A separate agenda item has been provided to ratify a collective bargaining agreement with the PBA which will generate savings of $3.308 million. Both parties worked collaboratively to identify both contractual and non-contractual savings in order to reach a fiscally responsible agreement that achieves those savings (Attachment 2). These identified savings recur for each applicable year of the contract.

The Administration proposed in negotiations that the remaining amount ($1.295 million) of savings needed to balance the budget come from an additional five percent (5%) contribution to the County’s health care costs. The Union disagrees with this proposal. The parties have agreed to submit their dispute directly to the Board of County Commissioners as an impasse item for resolution in accordance with State law. An additional five percent (5%) contribution to group health insurance represents $87.6 million of the total savings associated with collective bargaining concessions included in the FY 2011-12 Adopted Budget.

Track Record/Monitor

The Director of Labor Management and Compensation monitors and oversees the administration of this collective bargaining agreement.

MANAGER'S BACKGROUND
Background

Although the parties have reached an agreement regarding all other articles and provisions in the successor 2011-14 contract, which was submitted to Board for ratification on December 6, 2011, they have arrived at impasse regarding the County’s proposal to require an additional five percent (5%) of employees’ base wages as a health care contribution from PBA members. The parties have agreed to waive the special magistrate process and submit their dispute directly to the County Commission for resolution. As such, we are presenting to the Board our recommendation to approve the contribution of an additional five percent (5%) of employees’ base wages, for a total of ten percent (10%), to defray the County’s cost of health care.

This recommendation is not made lightly. The additional five percent (5%) contribution will have a serious impact on employees but is absolutely necessary to balance the budget and avoid additional service cuts and associated layoffs. The budget approved by this Board assumes a ten percent (10%) contribution to health care from all County employees. The Union has agreed to a five percent contribution only. If the additional five percent contribution the administration proposes and the budget contemplates is not adopted, savings will have to be generated from other sources to ensure a balanced budget. Because this contribution toward health care (or savings of a similar amount from other sources) is expected of all employees, rejection of the administration’s proposal will have a substantial financial impact on the entire County. If the additional five percent contribution is not adopted for this bargaining unit and other bargaining units are treated similarly, the County must reduce expenditures by $87.6 million which will require significant service reductions. The cuts necessary to fill this gap will be devastating to the provision of services.

The parties have agreed to work collaboratively during the term of this agreement to examine health plan features and identify opportunities to reduce overall premium costs. It is anticipated that a new, more affordable health plan will be in place for calendar year 2013. Contingent upon the success of this endeavor and prevailing economic conditions, the employee contribution to the cost of health care will be discontinued for calendar year 2014. This sunset provision, however, provides the County the option to reopen this issue for negotiations if it deems that this or a similar reduction needs to be continued. The parties have agreed to bring this matter directly to the Board as an impasse item if they fail to come to agreement at that time (end of calendar year 2013).

A timely resolution of this impasse is required to ensure uninterrupted service delivery to our community. If we are unable to realize these projected savings, additional reductions in personnel and concurrent service reductions would be an inevitable outcome. The County’s FY 2011-12 Adopted Budget incorporates this cost saving measure and projected operational expenditures include the savings from the increased health care contribution. Delays in implementing this measure may result in additional reductions in pay and layoffs. It is recognized that maintaining a sufficient staffing level on the streets is imperative for the safety of both our uniform personnel and the community they serve. This potential can be mitigated by adopting this impasse resolution.

Under Florida law, the action taken by the Board will be presented to the bargaining unit members for another ratification vote. A successful ratification vote will result in the application of the increased health care contribution for the term of the three-year, 2011-14 collective bargaining agreement. If the bargaining unit fails to ratify the action taken by the Board at impasse, the decision of the Board would only apply to the first fiscal year of the agreement. In such event, the terms and provisions of the first fiscal year of the agreement become the status quo and remain in effect until changed through subsequent negotiation and settlement or through further impasse hearings.

Because we are in the insulated period between waiver of the special magistrate hearing and final resolution of the impasse by the Board, representatives of the Union and representatives of the administration are unable to engage in ex-parte communications regarding resolution of the impasse with members of the Board or their staff in advance of the hearing.


____________________________
Deputy Mayor



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