Dear OCEA member,

THE TIME IS HERE—2023 IS A COUNTY NEGOTIATIONS YEAR. Our union will soon be in negotiations for successor agreements to our current Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs). Before we can negotiate, there is a critical first step in our effort to achieve the best possible outcome—WE NEED YOU TO COMPLETE THE 2023 NEGOTIATIONS SURVEY!

We use our member survey to determine our priorities and the areas of most concern and importance to you and your co-workers. Completing this Negotiations Survey is the most effective way to ensure you have a voice at the negotiations table! Your individual responses will remain confidential.

Please CLICK HERE to complete the survey. You can submit your completed survey anytime on or before 5 p.m. Feb. 23, 2023.

So much change has occurred since the last time we negotiated our MOU. OCEA has a new President, Judy Bowling of the Public Defender’s Office; our County has a new Board of Supervisors; and our communities—having been through a global pandemic—gained new perspective on what work and life can mean.

When we negotiated our previous MOU at the end of 2019, nobody could have anticipated how COVID-19 would impact us all. OCEA members faced life and death safety concerns during the early days of the pandemic. In the initial weeks of the pandemic, OCEA staff fielded close to 1,000 individual issues with the primary goal of ensuring Safety, Stability and Security for our members. In the same period, OCEA leaders worked with our allies in the labor movement and in Sacramento to ensure OCEA members received adequate, life-saving PPE—even when equipment was scarce. 

We were also challenged during this time with stopping opportunistic politicians and executives who tried to use the pandemic as a reason to attack our union and your economic security. Recall that during the first part of the pandemic the County attempted to eliminate our negotiated wage enhancements! We pushed back and said NO! Our union worked with our allies in Washington D.C. and other unions to secure direct local government funding through the CARES Act and passage of ARPA. 

Finally, OCEA members and leadership took the necessary steps to ensure the long-term stability of our union by electing pro-OCEA champions to the Board of Supervisors. The elections of Supervisor Katrina Foley and Supervisor Vince Sarmiento are two historic achievements for OCEA. They have joined Supervisor Doug Chaffee to comprise the first worker-friendly majority in the history of Orange County!  

We find ourselves living in “A New Day in Orange County”—where we have the opportunity to reinvest in public servants while also addressing the challenges facing our County. The impacts of inflation, COVID, job vacancies and so many other factors impact our position, but none are more impactful than your participation in the 2023 OCEA Negotiations Survey! Please CLICK HERE to submit your completed survey anytime on or before 5 p.m. Feb. 23, 2023.

Additionally, OCEA site visits about negotiations will be coming to a location near you. Stay tuned for the full schedule. Remember to visit OCEA.org to update your profile with your e-mail address and cell phone number for text messages.

As always, thank you for staying involved!

In Solidarity,


Publication Date: January 23, 2023