Clark County Collective Bargaining Agreement
“Ms. King`s decision to eliminate collective agreements for thousands of workers is dangerous and reactive,” SEIU Executive Director Grace Vergara-Mactal said in a press release. “Faced with a shortage of personal protective equipment in Nevada and across the country, our heroes on the front must now fight to do their jobs safely, while fearing for their livelihoods.” Michael Urban, a lawyer for the union, said the county ignored precedents and exceeded its legal rights by suspending the collective agreement altogether, and said it could have negative consequences like “willy-nilly” layoffs of government employees. State law allows local governments to “take all necessary measures to meet their responsibilities in emergency situations,” such as unrest, military action, natural disasters or civil disturbances, including “the suspension of any collective agreement for the duration of the emergency.” In his letter to the county, Urban cited an earlier case, decided by the Employee Management Relations Board, which involved North Las Vegas firefighters, in which it was found that local governments could not suspend collective agreements pending a budget emergency. Pappa did not say whether the county could or wanted to suspend contracts with firefighters in Clark County or the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Wednesday that King sent an email to county employees saying the county would lose $1.1 billion $US in revenue over the next 12 to 18 months, with borough chiefs expected to make “some extremely difficult decisions in the coming weeks and months.” The ongoing closure of non-essential businesses, including casinos, is expected to severely limit tax revenues. “There is no authority for [the Yolanda King County official] to take this action. There was no public meeting of district commissioners who approved this action,” he said. This is clearly a potential violation not only of the contractual rights, but also of the constitutional rights of The members of Local 1107, and it will clearly be an unfair practice if additional measures are taken in violation of this treaty. The action also suspends contracts with firefighters in Clark County, said Erik Pappa, a county spokesman.
The union, which represents health care workers at University Medical Center and a large number of public service employees, says Clark County Principal Yolanda King has unilaterally suspended contracts for all bargaining units. A county spokesman said In a statement Wednesday that the suspension was necessary “to allow us to change employees` working hours more quickly and take other steps to make us all safer while providing critical services to our community.” “The mere fact that the statutes see in their conditions that a local authority employer can suspend a collective agreement for the duration of the emergency does not mean that it is the only tool available to the employer of local authorities to deal with the circumstances that lie ahead under its legal and contractual obligations in relation to the tariff” , says the letter. The main local government employees` union in southern Nevada is threatening to take legal action against Clark County and is asking them to reverse a decision to suspend the bargaining rights of more than 9,000 county employees, including university medical center hospital staff. But counsel for the Urban union stated that the current circumstances of the COVID 19 pandemic did not fit this description and that the county circumvented another provision of state law that allowed local governments to reopen collective agreements in the event of a tax emergency.