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The union representing San Diego’s blue-collar workers filed a complaint with the state’s Public Employment Relations Board last week alleging the city engaged in unfair labor practices during negotiations that led the City Council to impose a contract on workers this month.

The charge filed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 127 says the city imposed changes such as increasing employees’ retirement payouts and eliminating leave for the union’s president “for reasons unrelated to Local 127’s unit and, instead, for reasons related to another bargaining unit or units.”

The document also charges that the city imposed changes to the deferred retirement program and retiree medical benefits that can’t be changed because they are vested benefits.

The union says the city didn’t bargain in good faith because it refused to bargain about proposed savings that were not permanent, but “accepted a proposal from another City union that provides for short-term (i.e., not structural) savings through the use of furloughs.” The unions representing white-collar employees and deputy city attorneys both agreed to furloughs in the two-year contracts they reached with the city.

The blue-collar union’s complaint says the city changed its financial analyses of proposed savings, informing the union on the day of impasse that “its proposal regarding furloughs was valued at only a fraction of what had previously been discussed.”

RANI GUPTA

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