98°F
weather icon Clear

Arbitrator sides with Clark County in giving union employees pay bump

Updated December 17, 2018 - 3:56 pm

Workers in Clark County’s largest employee union have been given 2 percent across-the-board wage increases, mirroring the final offer presented by county officials after stalled negotiations were delegated to an arbitrator.

Arbitrator Susan Grody Ruben sided with the county over Service Employees International Union Local 1107, according to a copy of her fact-finding report issued Dec. 3.

SEIU, which represents about 5,800 Clark County employees, had scaled back its initial request for 3.25 percent increases and settled on 3 percent as its final offer. But Ruben concluded in a binding ruling that the county’s final submission was “more reasonable.”

The 2 percent proposal equaled the figure in last year’s collective bargaining agreement, is consistent with most of the county’s other 11 bargaining units and would keep employees in “a decent position” compared with other similar agencies, she said.

Ruben was only granted authority to select either the county or the SEIU’s offer. She could not blend elements of the two.

Additionally, the salary schedule ceilings for employees, meaning the maximum amount one may be paid for their position, increased by 1 percent. While the SEIU had sought a 2 percent bump, the wage scale component had also not been included at all in the county’s initial offer.

“The bottom line from the SEIU perspective, the following result is better than what was offered at the table,” said labor attorney Michael Urban, the SEIU’s chief negotiator.

County officials estimated that the union’s offer would have cost about $7 million more. While there was no doubt about their ability to pay, Ruben raised questions over whether that money would be better spent on infrastructure, capital needs, technology, long-term unfunded obligations and more employees.

The wage increases went into effect Dec. 3 and will add $5.8 million to county expenses, although only roughly $2 million will be drawn from the general fund, according to county staff.

Salary range increases, for both union and non-unionized employees, will add about $1.5 million to county expenses. Less than half will come from the general fund.

The ruling closes the door on the formal dispute over pay this fiscal year, but Urban noted that negotiations were expected to reopen Friday for the year-long period beginning July 1.

The two sides have a contract in place through 2020, but wage increases are negotiated yearly.

Meanwhile, more than 230 employees in the Juvenile Justice Probation Officers Association will also be receiving 2 percent wage increases after seeking 2.4 percent, according to Sandy Jeantete, the county’s human resources chief.

That dispute was also decided through arbitration.

The county commission on Tuesday will be presented with the findings in both cases.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
THE LATEST
Clark County official presses Metro for answers about ICE cooperation

While Clark County Commissioners approved 40 supplemental positions for two understaffed jails Tuesday, Commissioner Justin Jones indicated his future support for more hires will be tied to the Metropolitan Police Department clarifying its role in immigration detention.

County wants joint meeting on potential funding to CCSD

Clark County commissioners on Tuesday signaled that they were unwilling to commit any dollars from a potential quarter-cent sales tax hike to the school district without first meeting with trustees on a plan and accountability.