In his response he states:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Let me get this straight. The union reps and the county negotiators reach a tentative agreement. OCEA members have the opportunity to vote on whether to accept or reject the agreement. The taxpayers, on the other hand — represented by their elected Supervisors — get no opportunity to vote on whether to accept or reject the agreement. They must accept whatever deal non-elected county bureaucrats negotiated.Ã¢â‚¬Â
As I have said, as other readers have responded, the answer is in the details of how labor negotiations are conducted. The Brown Act, CaliforniaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Open Meeting Law, permits government entities to discuss negotiations and provide instructions to their negotiators in closed session. Further, in the process of negotiation for a labor contract, it is the employer, in this case the County that presents an offer to the Union. The Union then submits that offer to its membership for ratification. If approved, the tentative deal becomes a done deal, with only the final Ã¢â‚¬Å“publicÃ¢â‚¬Â vote left to occur.
All of this is covered in Norberto SantanaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s story in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s OC Register, Questions Arise Over How County OKs Labor Pacts Under Brown Act, August 8, 2006. As the lead in to the story says:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When people see the board of supervisors vote on a labor deal, what they don’t know is that most often, an agreement has already been reached in private.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And it’s perfectly legal.Ã¢â‚¬Â
While in theory, the Board could change itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mind and reject its own proposal, to do so would be to venture into the waters of unfair labor practices, including failure to negotiate in Ã¢â‚¬Å“good faith.Ã¢â‚¬Â Nothing new has come up since the negotiations closed. There is no Ã¢â‚¬Å“newÃ¢â‚¬Â information floating around that Ã¢â‚¬Å“changes things.Ã¢â‚¬Â The salary agreement was reached, the Board authorized staff to present and sign a formal offer, the OCEA members accepted that offer.
THIS DEAL IS