You have 60 days from your hire date to submit your Health & Welfare Benefits Enrollment Form A. You have 30 days from your OCEA membership date to enroll in any upgraded Supplemental Benefits without waiting for the next open enrollment period, or after your evidence of insurability is approved by the insurance provider. Contact the County/Court for time limits relating to medical insurance at (866) 325-2345.
By default, part-time employees are enrolled in a limited-benefits package offering Delta Dental PPO, with a basic disability plan and life/accidental death and dismemberment insurance plan with minimum benefits. If the individual is an OCEA member, he or she has the option to purchase all supplemental benefits offered to full-time employees at a slightly higher cost.
If I transfer or promote into a bargaining unit that is not represented by OCEA do my OCEA membership and supplemental benefits terminate automatically?
No. If you transfer or promote into such a bargaining unit, your OCEA membership—and, if applicable, all supplemental benefits currently enrolled in—remains in effect. You remain eligible to purchase supplemental benefits through OCEA, unless and until OCEA receives a signed request to cancel your OCEA membership. To ensure correct processing of your cancellation request, please print your name and include your Social Security number. The request must include your signature. Emails are not accepted. Hand deliver the request to OCEA, or mail it to us at OCEA, P.O. Box 177, Santa Ana, Ca 92702.
The County administers its medical insurance program. If you have questions, please call (866) 325-2345.
OCEA members have different dental plans available to them. Please contact an OCEA Benefits Administrator at (714) 835-3355, or, contact your carrier with one of these phone numbers: Delta Dental of California (PPO) at (800) 765-6003 or Delta Care USA (HMO) at (800) 422-4234.
OCEA holds an annual open enrollment period during which you can change your dental benefits. Certain events—including divorce, marriage, birth of a child, or change of employment status—may allow you to make changes within 30 days of the event (with official documentation provided).
OCEA members may purchase vision coverage for themselves and dependents at any time throughout the year if they are not already covered under the Health & Welfare plan. This applies to both full-time and part-time members.
OCEA provides a basic $25,000 term life insurance policy for all employees in each of our represented bargaining units. The amount of this policy doubles in the event of an accidental death. In addition, OCEA members have the option to purchase additional life insurance. Contact an OCEA Benefits Administrator at (714) 835-3355 for more information.
You can enroll in the supplemental life insurance plan—purchasing an amount equal to your base annual salary, up to $60,000 worth of coverage—within the first 30 days of membership with no health evidence of insurability required. An OCEA member may enroll at any time throughout the year, subject to approval of evidence of insurability.
You may change the beneficiary on your life insurance at any time throughout the year. The change must be made in writing; please contact OCEA to request the proper form. The effective date of the change is immediate upon receipt of the form by OCEA.
Yes. OCEA provides basic disability benefits for employees in each of our represented bargaining units. Additionally, OCEA members have the option to purchase supplemental disability benefits. Contact an OCEA Benefits Administrator at (714) 835-3355 for more information.
Within 30 days of your OCEA membership date, or during the annual open enrollment period. Otherwise, evidence of insurability from the insurance carrier is required.
OCEA’s Board meets at 3 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month and sometimes schedules meetings at 5:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at OCEA, 830 N. Ross St., Santa Ana, Ca 92701. View the calendar on our homepage for up-to-date meeting information.
The OCEA Board of Directors is comprised of 19 OCEA members elected for two-year terms. Elections are conducted each year, with ten seats elected in odd numbered years and nine seats elected in even-numbered years. Whenever a vacancy is created, the remaining directors appoint an OCEA member to fill the remaining term of the vacant seat.
Of the 19 members on the Board, seven serve as officers on the OCEA Executive Committee. Those positions include President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Insurance Officer and Past President.
Jennifer Muir became OCEA General Manager on August 1, 2015 after serving as Asst. General Manger under Nick Berardino who she succeeded. Jennifer grew up in Garden Grove and graduated from Pepperdine University with B.A. in journalism and Spanish. She worked for the Orange County Register as a reporter before joining OCEA as Communications Director in 2010. Jennifer is deeply committed to making sure OCEA members receive the fair wages and benefits they deserve.
John Hiatt Sawyer, hired in 1960, was the first general manager of OCEA. Sawyer received his law degree from the University of Michigan, and was licensed to practice law in both Michigan and California. He had experience on the management side while working for corporations in the private sector. He was the ideal candidate for trhe job, and his skills were a tremendous asset as OCEA moved from bargaining informally with the County and began bargaining formally under the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act, beginning in 1969.
The Court is not a County agency and therefore is under a separate contract with separate provisions from the County.
If I transfer to the County from the Court, what happens to my vacation time, sick leave, and seniority?
There are no transfer rights because the Court is not a County agency. If you go to the County from the Court, you do so as a new employee, though the County has agreed to accept earned vacation and sick leave. You would not have seniority rights.
No. There is no reciprocity between the Court and the County for purposes of the “retreat” of employees. Again, you would be a new-hire in the position, not a transfer. Therefore, if you fail probation, you do not have the right to return to your former position.
Both County and Court employees are not State employees. Superior Court employees are State Trial Court Employees and are under the Administrative Office of the Courts.
What is OCEA? OCEA is a labor union founded by County employees in 1937. Its members are employees of several public agencies within the County of Orange. One of our primary goals is achieving things through collective action that would be impossible for individuals to achieve by acting on their own.
In 1960, OCEA hired a general manager and became incorporated under California law.
Our Mission is to advance the welfare and security of Orange County local government employees and their families.
Our Vision is to be recognized as a leader among labor organizations, playing a vital role in the lives of local government employees and their families, and providing a valuable resource, relevant to their contemporary needs and interests.
OCEA’s Guiding Principles are:
1. Our Four Keys to Success: Service, Member Involvement, Communication and Visibility
2. Courtesy, respect, and dignity towards others
3. Positive outlook and attitude
4. Commitment to progress
What do County, Court, City and District employees want from their independent employee association?
They want to improve things for themselves and their families. This may mean different things to different people at different times, but they all want fair pay, job security, secure and adequate provisions for retirement, job satisfaction and respect.
Employees want to know what’s going on at work and they want the opportunity to be involved in decisions that affect them.
Employees of Orange County (and many other places) join together because they know they can do more for themselves as a group than alone. Employees in the County have common interests and goals because they work for the same employer, live in the same general area, shop in the same stores and pay the same taxes. Local employees are all interested in the same issues.
Our members don't need someone else to set their priorities and make decisions. Our members believe in self-reliance and working together. Our members believe in independence.
You can print out a membership application, found by clicking here.
Once completed, simply submit it by mail or in person to OCEA at 830 N. Ross St., Santa Ana, 92701.
OCEA dues are $13.15 each pay period. Of that amount, $1.60 is allocated for political action. That amount is deducted from your paycheck each paycheck.
Regular dues are tax deductible, though PAC payments are not.
Any employee hired in one of the OCEA-represented units on or after Jan. 11, 2002, is part of a modified agency shop. Each pay period, agency fee payers pay $9.08 for full time employees and $4.54 for part time employees. An OCEA member pays a current fee of $13.15 for full time employees and $6.58 for part time employees, which includes money for polical action. In addition to other benefits, an OCEA member has the ability to vote in a contract negotiation, has the option to purchase supplemental benefits, and is able to purchase special events tickets at a discounted rate.
The OCEA Political Action Committee consists of 11 County employees who are OCEA members. The committee supports candidates for state and local offices who support public employee interests. The committee meets once a month on the third Thursday of the month and meets more often during election periods.
Aaron Read & Associates monitors legislative activity that could impact OCEA and aids us in getting our views through to our legislators. Aaron Read & Associates represents many leading labor organizations and are one of the most respected legislative advocates in the country.
OCEA Health Fair is an annual event held each October in the parking lot in front of OCEA. The event offers a chance for our members to interact with an array of health care providers and vendors.
“OCEA Presents” is a series of monthly lectures that provide information and resources to our members regarding important topics of concern to their personal and work lives. Topics include financial guidance, career development, stress management, funding for continuing education, physical fitness and more.
OCEA's Board of Directors awards two scholarships each year. The value of the scholarship may vary from year to year. The scholarship application is available several months before the deadline on our website, along with rules and qualifications for applicants.
OCEA can be reached at (714) 835-3355. We are at 830 N. Ross St., Santa Ana, Ca 92701 and are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, except on all County holidays.
No. OCEA is not a department within the County and therefore is not part of that mail system.
Send mail to OCEA at P.O. Box 177, Santa Ana, Ca 92702.
Click here to open Google Maps for directions to OCEA.
You may park in reserved or visitor spaces that are vacant beneath OCEA’s building.
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