OCFA Contract Ratification
Attention all OCEA members of the Orange County Fire Authority,
OCEA and OCFA have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract. Voting opens at 6 p.m. Monday, July 30 and ends at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7. Voting will be conducted online and votes will be tallied by an independent third-party vendor.
Highlights of the agreement are as follows:
- Three-year agreement through Aug. 22, 2021.
- 6% increase to base salary over the term of the agreement as follows:
- 2% effective the pay period during which the Board approves the MOU.
- 2% effective the pay period one year from the date of MOU approval.
- 2% effective the pay period two years from the date of MOU approval.
- Restoration of “hours paid” for purposes of calculating overtime. All paid leave shall count as “hours worked” for purposes of calculating overtime.
- Despite OCEA’s adamant objections, effective in the pay period which includes Jan. 4, 2019, OCFA is implementing twelve hour shifts for Fire Communications Dispatchers and Fire Communications Supervisors.
- Items to discuss further in the Joint Labor Management (JLM) Committee related to the schedule change are as follows:
- Shift Bids
- Right of Refusal
- Vacation Scheduling
- Consecutive Days Worked
- The response time for reporting to work for those who are assigned to be On-Call is now defined as “no more than two (2) hours.”
- Additional Compensation in the form of salary increases, not to exceed 15% or the top of an employee’s classification’s salary range, may be approved by the Fire Chief in instances where he/she determines that it is in the best interest of the OCFA.
- Grandchild added to the definition of “immediate family” for purposes of using Sick Leave to attend to the illness/injury of an immediate family member.
- Sick Leave Cash Out: By Dec. 15 of each year, an employee who has accumulated unused sick leave in excess of 280 hours may do either of the following.
- 1) Request that up to one-third of the balance above 280 hours, but no more than the maximum permitted by IRS Code, be placed in to the employee’s deferred compensation account; or
- 2) Make an irrevocable election to cash out up to eighty (80) hours of accrued sick leave which will be earned in the following calendar year. Per IRS regulation, cash outs must be made in the calendar year prior to the year the cash out hours are earned and paid out. Cash outs will be paid out on the pay day for the pay periods which include Oct. 15 and Dec. 15. HR will be responsible for educating membership on this regulation.
- For Fire Communication Dispatchers and Supervisors, the amount of leave hours allowable for personal emergencies will be twenty-four working hours during a fiscal year.
- Bereavement Leave must now be used within thirteen months from the date of each occurrence.
- Employees in their first year of employment will now accrue vacation at the same rate as employees who have completed 1 to 3 years of service.
- Vacation Leave Cash Out: Per IRS regulation, cash outs must be made in the calendar year prior to the year the cash out hours are earned and paid out. By Dec. 15 of each year, an employee may make an irrevocable election to cash out up to eighty hours of accrued vacation leave which will be earned in the following calendar year. Cash outs will be paid out on the pay day for the pay periods which include Oct. 15 and Dec. 15. HR will be responsible for educating membership on this regulation.
- Paid Annual Leave (PAL): Part-time employees are now eligible for eighteen hours of PAL time subject to the same conditions as full-time employees. For all employees, PAL time must be used by the last day of pay period 26 of each year. The OCFA will send out an email to employees during the 1st pay period in November reminding them of their use of PAL.
- When Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday, the Friday immediately preceding shall be observed as a holiday.
- Tool Reimbursement: The reimbursement maximum for employees who previously were limited to $250 has increased to $500. The reimbursement maximum for employees who previously were limited to $1,150 has increased to $1,500.
- Language prohibiting layoffs before OCFA spends 12.5% of the General Fund Contingency Reserve Fund has expired and is not included in the new MOU.
- Employees required to wear wildland boots as part of their uniform, may have the option to purchase and be reimbursed for an alternate OCFA-approved boot, rather than the boots provided by OCFA. Reimbursement not to exceed $300.
- A classification study of the Service Center job series will be conducted within the first year of the MOU’s term. OCEA may request one additional classification study in year two and three of the MOU that OCFA must conduct.
- Night Assignment Pay remains at 5% of an employee’s base hourly rate, but no longer has a maximum cap.
- MOU language updated to reflect current date, laws and regulations.
You may read a red-lined version of the new MOU here.
A “Yes” vote would be to accept the tentative agreement. A “No” vote would be to reject the tentative agreement.
Please note that a No vote would send the parties to Fact Finding in which OCFA has indicated it would stick to a last, best and final offer that would be for one fiscal year with one increase of 1.75%.
Again, voting will be conducted via the link below and voting ends at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7.
OCEA Steward Bargaining Team
Publication Date: July 30, 2018