ETTI General Membership Meeting
February 24, 2022
5:00 PM at DOT, 4100 Traffic Way
President Tom Mrizek
Vice President Randy Shuker
Secretary Treasurer Mark Stephan
Ex Officio – Randy Shuker
Labor Representative – Dee Contreras
Attorney – Brandon Largent
Waste Water Plant Inspector– Erich Matthews
Building Permits/Inspection – Donovan Doyon
Construction Inspection – Roman Reynard
Engineering Technicians – Johnny Mangum
Bldg. Prj. & Materials Lab Insp – Adam Autsen
Code Enforcement – Brian Tischbirek
Call to Order –5:25 PM by President Mrizek.
Board Members Present – Tom Mrizek, Randy Shuker, Mark Stephan, Brian Tischbirek, Donovan Doyon, Adam Autsen, Johnny Mangum, Roman Reynard, Erich Matthews. Forty members attended.
President’s State of the Union Report – President Mrizek explained that the contract was rolled over last year but we are looking at full negotiations this year. We may not be finished by the contract expiration in June but will be looking for fair raises and equities. He reminded members not to attend discipline or investigative meetings without requesting their representative be present. If you have a concern talk to your representative and they can address it or refer it to Dee and she will handle it. He introduced Brandon Largent, an attorney and labor representative from Goyette Ruano & Thompson to work with Dee and transition to representative us when she decides to really retire. Brandon introduced his background, and he is an attorney with Goyette Ruano & Thompson and is now working on the Labor Relations side. He was a U. S. Marine and then a Police Officer in Pasadena for 10 years. He worked at the State and now is at Goyette handling State discipline issues. Tom introduced Dee and she explained that she is a consultant for us with Goyette and has an extensive history in Labor Relations over 40 years and Tom said she has taught him a lot.
2) Tom introduced Roman Reynard who explained that he is the City Representative for CMID and has been with the County for 3 years with a history of QA work and specialty inspection when he came to the County.
3) He introduced Erich Matthews who is the Wastewater Treatment Plant Inspection Representative and he explained that he has been with the County for 21 years and glad to be here. He said that Dee represented him in a discipline issue a long time ago and she did a great job. Tom expressed respect for his knowledge and the ideas he has presented for City certificates. He added that he is running for Vice President and said that he had considered leaving after retirement but agreed to stay through negotiations to allow him to get up to speed with the history of ETTI and the County and continue to move us ahead.
4) Next he called on Donovan Doyon who identified that he is the BI Representative and he stated that he has been with the County for 17 years and is a Plans Examiner. He has been on the ETTI Board for 6 years now and was active in 2006. He added that it is fun and if you need assistance to contact your representative and we will work on it. Tom added that they were cube mates and Donovan learned it all by listening to Tom.
5) Tom called on Brian Tischbirek who is the Code Enforcement Representative and he explained that he is here for the fun! No cool stories but many issues to fight over. Tom added that he and Brian were together in karate training for safety. He was much heavier than he is now and Tom was the only one in his weight class.
6) He introduced Adam as the quiet one who does even more work than Tom. Adam explained that they have gotten a lot done over the last few years and expressed the same management issues most employees do. If they acted in the employee interest, they would see we are a team working well and hard.
7) Tom introduced Johnny Mangum who explained that he is ending his third term as Engineering Technician Representative and feels he has more time and is wiser now. He has worked for 7 years as an ET and one additional year as an intern. Tom confirmed he has learned the ropes.
8) Tom introduced Randy Shuker who is the outgoing Vice President and Ex Officio. He explained that he has been active in SCXEA for 14 of his 15 years with the County. Tom added that he has been President, Vice President, ET Representative and Ex Officio and has the experience, knowledge and temperament to be successful but has trouble dealing with the County.
9) Lastly he introduced Mark Stephan as the “new guy” as he retired and unretired over the last 3 months. Mark explained that he had served many terms as Secretary-Treasurer and enjoys working with the Board and the fact that when ETTI gets involved things get better. Phone numbers of Board member are on the website and you are free to contact them as needed. They can direct you to the correct person in payroll or personnel, etc.
10) Tom reviewed the past year and explained that the Board meets monthly and they were all virtual this year, which is hard for him as he is a people person and does better face-to-face. It is good practice to be here today with a live meeting. He explained that as a retiree he could do even more and focus on ETTI more closely. He can speak more directly to the County and Brandon is there with Dee to reel him in. Since COVID, the County has changed players and some do not know who does what. There is no Labor Relations Director and no one to ask. The new Personnel Services Director is Sylvester Fadal and the new Community Development Director is Dave Defanti. A member said that the new CD Director came and met with staff and Tom was glad to hear that. He has also request information from the Department.
11) Tom explained that we have had some classification work to do as groups of Engineer Technicians were reclassified as Labor Compliance Technicians in CMID. The employees will be able to request to stay in the current classification if they are concerned about moving. The same thing happened with a Waste Management System Technician reclass with lots of communication and meeting to address it. It involved a cross of activities over many disciplines and years, and the employees were concerned about the nature of the work though much of it had already been added on them. These are not over until the Unit assignment to ETTI is made and we will then focus on salary for the new classification.
12) ETTI has received return to work policies for the Sanitation District and DOT. We are unsure why it is not a County policy but will deal with that as it arises. Tom explained that he responded to all of the facemask requirements they have proposed. We are addressing the ARPA proposal and a few organizations have agreed to it. We are still negotiating this and not accepting what the County has proposed. Dee explained that the current proposal is $1500 or 40 hours, prorated for less than full time employees. This is based on the County allocation of $11 million for employees who worked during the pandemic. Most can choose between $1500 and 40 hours but the County also eliminated employees earning over $103,000 even if the existing employee was not at the top step. We requested the names of employees who cannot opt for money. We are continuing to negotiate for a greater benefit.
13) Tom prepared a Business Plan for ETTI and met with Goyette staff to discuss its implementation. Part of Tom’s action in the contracting out of work is because prevailing wage pays more than county salaries. Brandon prepared three Public Records Act (PRA) requests and they have 10 days to respond; if they cannot provide your data then you have further remedies. The Fast Track program allowed Economic Development to approve plans on a proposal and now the Plan Check cases have pages of changes and increases. There are pages of comments and the Plan Check Reviewer winds up designing the project. Brandon explained that a PRA required a response. The size of the request does not matter and at the first response, they said there were no records. We know that is not true so are continuing with the push for information. The value of the PRA is if they say there are no records and there are, the requesting party can seek a writ and get attorney fees. Brandon added that the information will be useful in negotiations as the determination of efficient and economic must have some metrics to support it.
14) We have two grievances; one on nepotism and one on disrespect of an employee.
15) We have a total compensation survey being done and the Board meets again on Tuesday for negotiations preparation. We are looking at what the market is at and what we deserve for the work being done. We will push hard for a financial package that we deserve. We could wind up at impasse. Brandon explained that when further negotiations are futile either party could declare impasse. There are State procedures for mediation and arbitration and each side presents their last, best and final offer. Tom added that we were close to impasse in the last negotiations and pushed until we could see no more. However, this time with COVID and Infrastructure money there should be more. A COLA of 2% to 5% was meaningful when inflation was less than that. Contracts are now at 3% or more through 2025. We are fighting for that and more. Trust us. Trust me. We know what we are doing. A member asked about the additional money for nurses and Tom explained that the County lied when they said no one would get more the 22% we received. We are ready to fight however, we can. We will do picket lines again and pressure however, we can. We will get the best we can and you decide to accept it. A member asked about voting on any rollover of the contract and explained that it is not required now but can amend the Bylaws to do it.
16) Tom asked anyone with ideas for the contract to send them in. we are beginning to write proposals and will incorporate what we can. Please keep them realistic. A member asked about using your own computer for remote work and Dee explained that in the pandemic environment this was exceptional.
Dee announced the election results as follows:
Tom Mrizek is the new and continuing President
Erich Matthews is the new Vice President
Mark Stephan is the new and continuing Secretary-Treasurer
Adam Autsen is the new and continuing Building and Materials Lab Representative
Donovan Doyan is the new and continuing Building Inspection Representative
Brian Tischbirek is the new and continuing Code Enforcement Representative
Roman Renard is the new and continuing Construction Inspection Representative
Johnny Mangum is the new and continuing Engineering Technician Representative
Erich Matthews is the continuing Waste Water Treatment Plant Representative
Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 7:00 PM.
Next meeting – TBD
Minutes prepared by Dee Contreras
Mark Stephan, Secretary-Treasurer