OCEA’s Innovative Solution Rejected By County CEO

December 5, 2008, press conference at OCEAOn 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.  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.  This is the biggest loss in 34 years.  Yesterday we were informed that the Social Services Agency is facing the possibility of over 100 layoffs.  These difficult times require bold leadership, collaboration, and implementation of proactive and creative programs to save jobs.  Therefore we are asking every member of the County family to participate in any way possible in the VOLUNTARY  holiday leave program set forth below.  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.  Be sure to check your home email tonight for information on the County’s response to OCEA’s request.

In Solidarity,
Nick Berardino

Here is the correspondence between County CEO Tom Mauk 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;  “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 Berardino 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 hear back from Mauk regarding a meeting date. Well, one would have to assume that “Stakeholders” do not include the workers who stand to lose their jobs. 

So much for trying to find solutions.

  2 comments for “OCEA’s Innovative Solution Rejected By County CEO

  1. Jason
    December 8, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Give them Hell Chris.

    Amazing stupid that this guy admits that he’s been working on this issue for time he admits to and has yet to provide a workable solution to avoid layoffs.

    Mauk, I understand your concern to not rush into things however given you have worked on this issue for a month(or more) how about coming up with some a little cost saving cuts here and there so we could save jobs.

    If anything, given your staff has failed miserably to come up with anything workable or productive for the month(or more) how about using that good ole business idea big in Republican circles. If your not productive in the job you do maybe it about time to find another job.

    Pushing numbers around to close budget shrortfalls and playing hardball with the unions, leading others to false pronmises is the worst type of government waste at this time. You seriously need to cut some of your staff, who are just in the dark of what money is coming down the stream yet threw out numbers like they know and it’s done just to keep their job.

  2. Paul
    December 9, 2008 at 9:27 am

    I find it hard to believe that the county would go ahead with a airport expansion in the hundreds of millions of dollars but can`t save a few of it`s employees from layoffs.
    It also seems insensitive for the county to be remodeling the O.C. Supervisor`s 5th floor offices at the Hall of Administration in Santa Ana at this time.
    I understand that there are committments to be fufilled here but it seems that these projects make a mockery of the plight of many county employees who are in danger of losing their jobs.

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