I have to admit I am enjoying the lack of results so far with labor relations in San Bernardino County. We have two new unions, both of which thought they were going to come in and get exactly what they wanted just because.
So far, that is not exactly how it has happened. Bob Windle may come across as very timid and mild-mannered. But he is going to do exactly what the boss tells him to do, and in this case, ultimately that boss is Greg Devereaux. Devereaux is not going to give employees one extra dime until he is forced into it. And I doubt this board of supervisors has the backbone to force Devereux to do anything. Rumor has it that negotiations are not going so well for any of the unions, but especially SEIU. Of course, it is all confidential at this point so we really don’t know for sure. But we certainly have not heard of any new great contracts being announced or that the county is giving in on anything.
I support the employees so it is not that I’m happy that they are not getting something. What I’m enjoying is the fact that the unions are likely going to be forced to put their money where there mouths were at when they were busy convincing employees to make a change. Until we have real political action in this county, we are going to have wimpy supervisors and an out-of-control Chief Executive Officer. Yep, I long for the days of strong board members who had backbone rather than constantly running for political cover and hiding behind Devereaux’s skirt.
I guess we will know in a few months just how strong SEIU and Teamsters really are. Either there will be great new contracts, a serious political campaign, or business as usual where the employees get little. Until I see some real action by the unions, I’m betting on the latter. I’m just hoping they wise up and realize that Devereaux is not going to roll over for them until they start replacing board members with those that can see the big picture and not just worry about their own business interests.
They only have a couple of months before they have to be involved in the next election or wait two more years. I guess I’m just not feeling it at this point.