According to the Washoe County Employees Association, an impasse was reached because county administrators could not reach a contract deal to include language in the agreement that would guarantee other county associations would receive equal treatment with regard to the 4.5 percent wage reductions the WCEA was asked to accept.
“What we wanted to see some protection that we were not the only group giving concessions,” said Dave Kelly, spokesman for the WCEA. He said the association had no problem with the wage reduction offer the county proposed, but that the county administration did not cooperate with the language the association wanted to install in the agreement to ensure other employees would also bear the burden of wage reductions. Kelly said an agreement was nearly reached but time ran out and county administrators walked away from discussions.
Simon did not address this issue in her written statement issued to the media.
Simon issued a statement that stated in part: “We just received word that the WCEA wanted to declare impasse, and we have not had an opportunity to discuss it yet with the County Commission. Our employees have been, and continue to be, very committed to helping us to address the results of the lingering recession, for which we are very grateful. We asked the WCEA for an additional 1%.”
The remainder of Simon’s statement did not address the language issue asked for by the WCEA.