Collective bargaining for a fair contract (or Memorandum of Understanding) that reflects the needs of OCEA’s working families is a foundational aspect of OCEA’s representation program. During contract negotiations, OCEA members sit across the bargaining table from management as equals and discuss the issues that impact them most. Through the collective bargaining process, we achieve meaningful wages, retirement security and rights for OCEA members exceeding what workers are entitled to by law.

Every single OCEA member can participate in collective bargaining in some way. Members complete bargaining surveys to establish the collective bargaining priorities at the table, and once an agreement is reached, only OCEA members vote to approve or reject the agreement.

Study after study shows that union membership pays off at the bargaining table:

  • Only 20 percent of non-union workers are covered by a guaranteed (defined-benefit) pension, while 100 percent of all OCEA permanent civil service workers are covered and can count on a secure retirement;
  • Only 63 percent of non-union workers have paid sick leave, while 100 percent of OCEA’s full and part-time bargaining units have paid sick leave;
  • Nationally, the average female worker makes 77 percent of what the average male employee makes. Among OCEA represented employees, women are closing that gap.

OCEA members have a right to stand together in a union and bargain collectively to improve working conditions and provide better services to the residents we serve.

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