bbcsd-thumbThe Big Bear City Community Services District has taken a bold step in their updated labor agreement with the CSD Employees Association, in the Memorandum of Understanding that was unanimously approved by the CSD Board of Directors at last night’s meeting. Given the state of the economy, the new agreement will forego employee raises during the two-year agreement, which takes effect July 2009—but, in exchange, the CSD has committed to no layoffs or furloughs of district employees. As CSD’s General Manager Mike Mayer explained to the Board at the April 6 meeting, “I’m thrilled with the fact that they [the employees] understand the situation, and have adjusted their expectations accordingly. We’ve been able to successfully negotiate.” On behalf of the Employees Association, which voted 26-2 in favor of the agreement, employee representative Greg Ricketts, who works in the water department, said, “I always put the citizens first, and we did that in this, too.” With employees relinquishing the opportunity for raises, CSD will be able to “hold the line,” in Mayer’s words, by not raising their rates for customers. Employees can expect a cost of living allowance in 2010, the second year of the new agreement, which also includes benefits such as full premiums for health insurance paid by the district, and the opportunity for employees to sell back up to 80 hours of their accrued vacation and comp time. As CSD Director Marge McDonald expressed, “I hope this sets an example for other agencies. We do have the best employees on this mountain, and they are treated very well.”