Irvine : Municipal Union Head Criticizes City Job Study
An employee classification study has drawn criticism from the chief of the recently certified union that represents Irvine’s municipal employees.
David Suter, acting president of the Irvine Employees Assn., said the study, which examined 300 employee classifications to determine if job descriptions squared with actual duties, would leave too many employees working beyond their job titles.
As a result of the City Council’s unanimous approval of the study last week, 150 city employees will receive new titles or changes in their job descriptions on June 29, said Wally Kreutzen, director of Administrative Services.
In addition, Kreutzen said, 23 workers will be reclassified at higher levels and will get net pay raises of about 10%. Kreutzen said the move will add an additional $147,000 to the city’s payroll in the upcoming fiscal year.
Suter, who has been the acting president of the employees’ association since it was certified in an election last month, said the study is “the best thing that ever happened to the union’s membership drive.”
The union president said the survey, which was conducted by a private consulting firm, is skewed in favor of management and leaves too many employees working beyond their stated duties.
“We still insist that we’re working above the job descriptions written for us,” Suter said. Because of this, he said, employees are actually being underpaid in relation to the work they do.
Kreutzen, however, said the study is fair and accurately reflects the work being done by Irvine’s municipal workers, who were the last in Orange County to become unionized.
Currently, the union is analyzing the classification study and may bring up job descriptions when contract talks begin in November, Suter said. Meanwhile, a union recruitment drive is winding down, and a vote to elect the union’s first board of directors will be held in early July.