Clark County approves contracts with two unions


Two 12-month deals between Clark County officials and two of its smaller unions will save the county about $142,000 through June 30.

County commissioners Tuesday approved collective bargaining agreements with the 23-member Juvenile Justice Supervisors and Assistant Managers Association and the 21-member District Attorney Investigators Association.

The county has negotiated with its dozen or so unions to help bridge a $47.9 million budget gap caused by slumping property and sales taxes.

The Juvenile Justice agreement, its first with the county, is worth about $105,711, 3.2 percent of its contract cost.

Union members would undergo a 1.5 percent wage reduction, forfeit 20 hours of accrued leave and have their merit and longevity pay frozen for a year. Under the agreement, new hires wouldn't get longevity pay and would pay higher insurance premiums. Union members have not voted on the proposal.

The District Attorney Investigators agreement is worth about $36,278, 1.6 percent of its contract cost. Union members, who have approved the agreement, will see a 12-month longevity pay freeze, a 1 percent wage reduction and a permanent $220 annual reduction in clothing allowance.

In April, the County Commission approved an agreement with the union through June 30 of this year. The concessions at that time included a 2 percent wage reduction, a 12-month freeze of merit increases, one-time clothing allowance reductions and increases to new employee insurance premiums.

Officials are still negotiating with the Service Employees International Union, the county's largest public employees union, which represents workers such as engineers, communication technicians, custodians, electricians and property appraisers at McCarran International Airport, the Department of Family Services, the Regional Transportation Commission, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Southern Nevada Health District, among other agencies.

Contract talks have been plagued by finger pointing and accusations by union members who contend county officials are using inaccurate numbers. That discussion boiled over at a previous commission meeting while dozens of union members clad in purple shirts and carrying signs protested outside the county government building.

At the start of the month, county officials filed a complaint with the Local Government Employee Management Relations Board to compel the union to meet more regularly with county officials and "begin bargaining in good faith" toward a new contract.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Oct. 27, according to the union's website. It will be the sixth session for the negotiations.

Union officials say they don't want longevity pay on the chopping block. The county is proposing no merit pay and cost-of-living increases and a yearlong freeze on longevity pay. Longevity pay for new employees also would be eliminated under the county's proposal.

Contact reporter Kristi Jourdan at kjourdan@reviewjournal.com or 702-455-4519.

 

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