UPEC proudly represents five Trinity County bargaining units separate from and in addition to the three Trinity Superior Court bargaining units and the Trinity County PUD unit. UPEC represents Trinity County public employees!
Probation Peace Officer Unit
Skilled Trades Unit
Deputy Sheriff Association Unit
Trinity County, county seat Weaverville, is somewhat isolated geographically and therefore has very little pressure to pay employees fairly due to competition. We have heard it many times over the years: "if you don't like it here, leave and go work somewhere else." This means it is up to our UPEC membership with staff support to advocate for themselves. What the employees receive is pretty much 100% up to our posture at the bargaining table. We get what we earn. In the last several rounds of bargaining this has included 3 strikes in support of our positions as employees have gotten increasingly frustrated.
The big issues we currently face in Trinity County are the same type of issues we face with most employers:
Fair pay when compared to other agencies and also internally to other County jobs.
Affordable medical insurance
Fair Pay - We are addressing the fair pay issue with what has turned into a long-term strategy. We negotiated into the MOU a commitment that the County would pay an outside consultant firm to conduct a "Classification/Compensation Study" to update job classifications and compare Trinity County compensation to a list of "comparable agencies". Not wanting to leave the list of comparable agencies to chance as the list determines the outcome, we negotiated the specific list of comparable agencies into the MOU rather than leaving it up to the discretion of the consultant firm. Unfortunately, the consultant firm has taken forever and given us a flawed work product. Even flawed, however, the Study revealed what we already knew, that many of our jobs are woefully underpaid. 10%, 20% 30% even 40% underpaid when compared to the comparable agencies. To see this project through, the County and the units have committed to meet regularly, clean up the flawed study results, and negotiate an implementation schedule beginning in July 1, 2019. We WILL see this project through!
Affordable Medical Insurance - Trinity County pays the least toward medical coverage of any of the employers we work with. Only $700 per month toward a combination of medical, vision and dental. Clearly, this does not pay for any amount of dependent medical coverage. The County put a bid out to insurance companies to find a less expensive alternative to PERS Medical and as predicted no other insurance coampanies wanted to bid for Trinity County business. Once the County found out there were no other alternatives and we are going to have to stay with PERS Medical the County agreed to negotiate (finally!) on increasing what the County pays. We are in the middle of this effort and like the Classification/Compensation Study, we WILL see this project through!
Stay tuned for an update in 2019 where we expect to announce our success on these critical issues. Our motto is, "If not now, when?"