Late Thursday afternoon OCEA informed County CEO Tom Mauk that they the employees union was taking the County to court over the layoffs. In a nutshell, the union is claiming that County managers have not met their contractual responsibility to identify that all other available options be explored and attempted before laying off employees. Norberto Santana over at the Register’s Total Buzz Blog has his story here.
Berarding sent the following message out to the OCEA members by email last night explaining the action.
Tomorrow (Friday) morning OCEA will file an action in Orange County Superior Court seeking a temporary restraining order in an effort to postpone implementation of layoffs in the Social Services Agency. Some County executives and managers are spreading the falsehood that OCEA has simply engaged in an ongoing tit-for-tat fight with the County and has done nothing proactive or constructive to help the County deal with its economic challenges.
Nothing could be further from the truth.Â Â
OCEA has made dozens of suggestions that the County should adopt prior to the layoff or furlough of even a single County employee. As an example, OCEA hired former County CFO Gary Burton who put together a long list of proposals for savings that has been submitted to the Board of Supervisors. In total, the suggestions made by OCEA would mean tens of millions of dollars in savings to the County. Even Steve Greenhut of the Register, who loves to bash OCEA and public employees, agreed with OCEA’s suggestion for completion of the Board of Supervisors remodeling project. See his post at the link below. Unfortunately, our suggestions have fallen on deaf ears. Despite OCEA’s submitting dozens of suggestions over the past several weeks, the County has not acted to adopt even a single one of them, and has not even given us the courtesy of a response.
OCEA has been and will continue to try in every way to work cooperatively with the County. But when the jobs and livelihoods of our members are at stake, when the County proceeds with layoff and furlough plans before considering viable alternatives, and when the County refuses to act first to eliminate waste and luxuries before placing the burden of its primarily self-imposed financial problems on the backs of County employees, you can be assured we will not avoid any action or any confrontation, anywhere, anytime.
We will provide you with details regarding the litigation late in the day tomorrow after the County has been served with the pleadings. Be sure and check your home e-mail tomorrow evening for the important update. In the meantime, check the OCEA website at www.oceamember.org for more examples of OCEA’s cost-saving suggestions. Also, check out this evening’s Register/Norberto Santana post on the lawsuit on the link below. If you are inclined to post a comment tonight on either of the blog articles you can link to below, I’d certainly encourage you to do so.
Union heads to court to halt county layoffs
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