Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are the benefits of membership?

A: Collective bargaining for your unit, individual representation for yourself for grievances/appeals and reclassifications, confidential counseling for work-related issues at no charge, the opportunity to voice your opinions in contract negotiations and elections for the Board of Directors, free financial planning and the ability to purchase exclusive supplemental insurance policies for you and your family, discounted legal representation for non-work issues, a subscription to the SLOCEA newsletter (The County Blade), a free life insurance policy, discounts to local businesses and major attractions and much more!

Q: How do I become a member?

A: Obtain a membership form here or by calling SLOCEA at 543-2021. Fill out the form and submit it to your payroll clerk to begin to taking advantage of all the benefits SLOCEA has to offer!

Q: How much does membership cost?

A: The cost, which is automatically deducted from your paycheck, is 40% of one hour’s pay plus a flat fee of $3.00 per pay period.

Q: I am still in my six-month probation period. Can I be a union member or do I have to wait until I attain permanent status?

A: SLOCEA members are both permanent and probationary employees. Even though an employee hasn’t attained permanent status, probationary employees
often encounter many of the same problems that require individual representation by the association.

Q: Can any County employee become a SLOCEA member or do you have to be in one of SLOCEA’s bargaining units?

A: Any permanent County employee, whether full- or part-time, and in any bargaining unit, can be a SLOCEA member. SLOCEA members currently include
elected officials, management personnel and employees covered by other associations who prefer to affiliate with SLOCEA. As a “non-represented” member, they participate in all of SLOCEA’s benefits including counseling, group insurance plans, etc. SLOCEA does not represent these members for bargaining issues such as cost of living increases, etc.

Q: How can I become more involved with my employees association?

A: Check this Web site for upcoming events, read the official SLOCEA publication (The County Blade) for additional opportunities, attend general union
meetings and Board of Directors meetings or even become a union steward. YOU are the union; the more involved you are, the stronger your union becomes!

Q: What is a union steward and how do I become one?

A: A union steward is the union’s equivalent to a first line supervisor. Stewards fulfill a leadership role at the workplace by giving information to their fellow employees and by representing the interests of the employees. To become a union steward you must attend two four-hour training sessions with a SLOCEA field representative. Click here for more information on the Steward Program. Contact SLOCEA at 543-2021 to find out the date of the next training session.

Q: Is SLOCEA part of the County?

A: No. SLOCEA is an independent non-profit organization founded in 1948 by County employees to improve their working conditions. Dues from members pay for SLOCEA’s staff, offices and supplementary programs. This is why non-members are charged $150/hour for any use of SLOCEA’s staff. SLOCEA acts as a strong voice for its members and is completely separate from any other organization.

Q: Where do I get more information about the supplemental insurance policies that are available for members to purchase for themselves and their families?

A: You should contact Eddie Holmes, SLOCEA’s benefits coordinator at 544-5311. He will assist you with your insurance questions. Click here for more information about Eddie Holmes’ services.

Q: If I have a problem in my workplace, what can I do?

A: If your workplace has a union steward, approach that person for advice and a possible remedy. If your location doesn’t have a steward, call SLOCEA at 543-2021 and explain the situation to a Field Representative. They will suggest a remedy that will suit the nature of the issue.

Q: I have a problem at work, but I work 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. I don’t want to discuss the issue over the phone while at work. When can I talk to a SLOCEA staff member?

A: To schedule a meeting with a Field Representative, phone SLOCEA at 543-2021. They will call back to schedule a confidential meeting to go over the issue. SLOCEA Field Representatives will make arrangements to meet with you before work, after work or during your lunch break either at the SLOCEA office or at a location of your choosing.

Q: My supervisor just informed me that he/she wants to meet with me. I think the issue might be disciplinary in nature. What should I do?

A: If you believe that the meeting involves discipline, you have the right to have a representative of your choosing attend the meeting with you. You may choose a union steward, a SLOCEA representative or any person you choose. It will benefit you to have someone with you who understands County policies and procedures.

IMPORTANT: It is your responsibility to ask for representation; your supervisor is not required to offer this to you.

If you suspect, but are not sure that the meeting will involve discipline, you should ask your supervisor about the nature of the meeting. If their answer indicates there may be discipline involved, you have the right to request representation and to reschedule the meeting so that your representative can attend.

If you did not suspect that the meeting might be disciplinary, but throughout the meeting it becomes apparent that this is the case, you have the right to stop the meeting at any point and ask for representation. You may then reschedule the remainder of the meeting for a time that will allow your representative to attend.