The SCEA MOU is currently the same for the General, Professional and Supervisory Units. This is not a comprehensive document.
It begins about a year before the contract expiration date, figuring you need approximately 6-8 months for actual time at the bargaining table. This lead time is necessary to collect data used in negotiations.
In addition to soliciting proposals from the membership, one of the first steps in the process is to elect a Negotiation Committee. The memberships assigned to each bargaining unit have the right to elect their representatives. If the membership fails to act, the Board of Directors will make appointments to ensure each unit is represented on the Committee. Membership meetings are held for the purpose of receiving nominations, so be thinking about whom you would like to represent you and what proposals you would like to submit of consideration.
After the Committee is formed, they review the proposals submitted for negotiations and decide which to include in the package for submission back to the membership for approval. Should the Committee reject a proposal, which has been submitted for consideration, the membership always has the authority to overrule the Committee and direct that it is included.
Once the package of proposals has been approved by the membership, the actual negotiations with the County can begin. All decisions made at the bargaining table pertaining to the proposals are tentative. The County and Associationís Committee try to reach a tentative agreement on each item. This also includes any proposals that the County makes. As the parties discuss, debate and argue over each issue it results in either an agreement or the proposal is withdrawn in an effort to reach what is called a full tentative agreement on the remaining issues.
When the parties reach a full tentative agreement it is taken back to the membership and the Board of Supervisors for a vote, both must approve the agreement for it to be legally binding. When the membership votes to approve or reject the tentative agreement each bargaining unit votes on the matter separately.
Success is largely determined by the membershipís level of commitment to the process and the amount of support shown for the Negotiation Committee.