Countywide : County Employees Assn. Ratifies 2-Year Contract

Members of the Orange County Employees Assn. (OCEA) have ratified a two-year labor agreement with the Board of Supervisors that gives 7,800 county workers a holiday on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and a 4.75% wage hike during each of the next two years.

About 1,800 of the employees included in the new contract will receive an additional 2.75% salary increase during the first year of the agreement because their pay has lagged behind that of comparable workers elsewhere.

The average hourly salary of employees covered in the contract will rise from $10.82 to $11.33, according to OCEA and county officials.

Terms of the proposed contract were released last week, just as county workers began a three-day period of voting on the agreement in booths set up at OCEA offices in Santa Ana.


OCEA General Manager John Sawyer said employees approved the contract by a 6-1 ratio, but he said he would not disclose the actual vote count “for security reasons.” He declined to elaborate.

“Obviously, there are some members who were unhappy with the agreement, especially in the area of the salaries they thought they should be paid, but overall, we were happy with the results,” Sawyer said.

Negotiations are continuing on work contracts affecting 1,300 other county employees, including firefighters and attorneys.