Employee relations generally refers to dealings between management and a unionized workforce.
In Kern County, the Human Resources Division of the County Administrative Office is responsible for fostering harmonious and cooperative relations between employee organizations and the County. Duties include:
- Negotiating and administering labor agreements (MOUs) with recognized employee unions
- Resolving contract disputes through mediation, arbitration and administrative hearings
- Administering employee relations codes, ordinances, statutes, and policies
- Providing advice and counsel to County management regarding labor relations issues
Most non-management and non-confidential employees are represented by an employee union. Every County position is assigned to a bargaining unit, and most bargaining units are in turn associated with a union - e.g., bargaining units 1 - 6 are associated with the SEIU union. Each employee's bargaining unit is listed near the top of their paystub, labeled BU. List of bargaining units and associated unions.
Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) are documents that govern the "rules" for employees in each union. They are developed through negotiations between the union leaders and the County, and generally cover a period of 3 years.
The Employer-Employee Relations Resolution outlines the general rules and regulations for the administration of employer-employee relations between the County and its recognized employee organizations.
The individual unions offer various benefits, some of which may be paid for by payroll deduction.
Employees hired on or after August 19, 1992 contribute to their respective union for representation via membership dues or (for SEIU and KCPA) a non-member representation fee. Contributions are made by payroll deduction.
Employees hired before that date may join the union if they wish, but are not required to contribute a representation fee.
Grievance procedures for represented employees are governed by the applicable MOU.