On Friday Orange County Employees Association General Manager Nick Berardino held a press conference to offer an innovative “Voluntary Holiday Leave” proposal to address county budget shortfalls. The Orange County Register and LA Times covered the story. Following the press conference Berardino sent the following message to county workers.
Today we embarked on our most ambitious program in the history of our County to save jobs.Â As you will see in the letter below, we are asking the County to implement a VOLUNTARY “holiday leave without pay” program.
Today the Department of Labor released a report that indicated that last month over 500,000 jobs were lost.Â This is the biggest loss in 34 years.Â Yesterday we were informed that the Social Services Agency is facing the possibility of over 100 layoffs.Â These difficult times require bold leadership, collaboration, and implementation of proactive and creative programs to save jobs.Â Therefore we are asking every member of the County family to participate in any way possible in the VOLUNTARYÂ holiday leave program set forth below.Â We have asked the County to meet throughout the weekend to work out the details in preparation for the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.Â Be sure to check your home email tonight for information on the County’s response to OCEA’s request.
Here is the correspondence between County CEO Tom MaukÂ And OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino.
In short, Mauk decided that discussing solutions with the union that represents the vast majority of county workers isn’t worth his time. To quote from Mauk’s letter;Â “The staff – as you well know – at the County have been working with the Board and Stakeholders on this issue for over a month now…” At the November 25th Board Meeting BerardinoÂ informed the Supervisors the OCEA wanted to meet, and the Board directed Mauk to do so. As of Friday, December 5th, Berardino was still waiting to hearÂ back from Mauk regarding a meeting date. Well, one would have to assume thatÂ “Stakeholders” do not include the workers who stand to lose their jobs.Â
So much for trying to find solutions.