County SEIU members approve agreement that restores pay cut

Clark County employees affiliated with the Service Employees International Union Local 1107 narrowly approved an interim agreement from the county that will restore a 2 percent pay cut employees took in 2011.

Union members cast their votes Thursday and Friday. In the nonsupervisory unit of the SEIU, 53.2 percent of members approved it. In the supervisory unit, 51.4 percent supported it. The number of votes cast was not released.

The county’s offer to its largest union, which represents about 5,500 county employees, is contingent on the SEIU agreeing to drop a complaint it filed with the state Employee Management Relations Board. In its complaint filed in January, the union contended the county had violated an agreement that required its members to receive a 2 percent pay restoration when the county restored the 2 percent pay cut for non-union staffers.

The county in June 2013 had offered the union a 2 percent cost-of-living increase and a 2 percent merit increase in exchange for giving up longevity pay for future new hires. The union has resisted eliminating longevity pay and argued that the 2011 agreement didn’t tie the wage restoration to longevity pay.

The agreement doesn’t end contract negotiations between the county and the SEIU. Even with the 2 percent pay restoration in hand, both parties still need to reach a contract through negotiations.

The 2 percent restoration agreement needs approval from the Clark County Commission, which is expected to vote on it in May. The pay restoration is retro­active to July 2013, and if the commissioners ratify the vote, the retroactive pay will be on paychecks in mid-June.

The offer came after the union gave the commission a 1,500-signature petition to commissioners.

SEIU President Martin Bassick said in his conversation with members at polling sites, county employees were disappointed that the county needed to be pressured to follow its agreement with the union.

“I think the employees have gotten to a point where they’re just kind of fed up with what’s going on,” he said.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2904. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1.