The Ventura County government's largest union has ratified a contract that provides average wage and benefit increases of 4% annually over the next 3 years.
Still to be decided is a separate provision that would require county government workers eligible for membership in the Public Employees Assn. of Ventura County to pay union fees whether they are members or not. The measure requires approval of more than 50% of eligible employees and will be decided by a special election slated for April, said Barry Hammitt, association executive director.
The provision, known as an "agency shop" clause, would require non-union county employees to pay up to 95% of the $182 annual union dues levied on association members. It is strongly opposed by some non-union members and two Ventura County supervisors.
While Hammitt said the fees are necessary to cover contract negotiation costs, Supervisor Madge Schaeffer said it is unfair for those employees who don't want to join the union.