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Orange County Digest

Local News in Brief : Countywide : Largest County Union Ratifies Tentative Pact

November 03, 1987

The Orange County Employees Assn., the county government's largest union, announced Monday that its members have ratified a tentative wage agreement that will give its workers a 10.6% raise by June, 1989.

With the membership vote taken over the weekend, OCEA became the last of the county's eight unions to ratify new contracts in the last month, ending months of bitter labor negotiations that led to several work slowdowns by union members.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote today on five contracts ratified by unions in the last two weeks. Supervisors are expected to vote on the OCEA contract, which covers about 10,000 of the county's 14,000 employees, at a meeting next week.

John Sawyer Jr., attorney for OCEA, would not disclose the membership vote but described it as an "overwhelming" approval.

However, a group of about 30 construction inspectors represented by OCEA signed a separate letter to the supervisors, complaining about the contract and worker morale.

"We, as a group, resent the way that the county has treated the county employees throughout the entire negotiations," the letter said. "We find it difficult and demeaning to work with low morale and for employers who do not appreciate the efforts of the workers."

Sawyer said the contract will give workers a 4% raise beginning Dec. 4, with another 3.25% increase in July, 1988, and a 3.0% raise in December, 1988. Compounded, the raises total 10.6%.

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