Service Employee International Union won the right to represent County employees when the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved their representation last April. Nearly a year on and the County Administrator has continually dragged his feet on a 'Meet and Confer' process, throwing up numerous procedural roadblocks and legal hurdles in an effort to avoid direct talks with SEIU that would lead to a Memoradum of Understanding on working conditions and wages.
On the 28th of February, SEIU held a forum for Pima County Supervisor candidates to give them a chance to get behind the union's goals, and specifically the 'Meet and Confer' process with an eye toward determining which candidates, if any, the union would endorse. All of them expressed strong support for the union, even the two Republicans on the Board were very supportive of SEIU's goals.
So why, more than a year after SEIU was authorized by the Board, hasn't the county Administration yet begun a 'Meet and Confer' process with SEIU? How can it be that all 5 board members are fully in support of SEIU, but they have been unable to produce meaningful consultation and good-faith negotiation with the Administration? Who's in charge here, after all?
One board member who is up for re-election this year, Sharon Bronson, has drawn a primary challenge from former Pima County Democratic Party Chairwoman Donna Branch-Gilby. Faced by a challenge from a well-known, well-connected, and well-liked Democratic woman, Bronson has surely got to be very nervous about her prospects for re-election.
Bronson spontaneously promised SEIU that if CHuckelberry didn't move forward with 'Meet and Confer' within 10 days, she would place the matter on the agenda and force him to do so.
That was the 28th. By my generous reckoning, CHuckelberry has until next Monday, March 10th, to sit down with SEIU before Bronson lays down the law for him. That is, if she actually meant what she told SEIU. We'll see if Bronson has the brass to push CHuckelberry into doing something he obviously has no desire to do.
I certainly don't see any reference to the matter in the agenda as yet...