County workers could go on strike, Union says

The union representing more than 10,000 San Diego County employees is scheduled today to deliver a notice of an intention to go on strike over what they decry as unfair labor practices.

The strike would begin Sept. 5 or later, though no specific date has been set, according to Service Employees International Union Local 221.

Union officials alleged that county management, among other things, took a “take it or leave it” approach to bargaining, set “unlawful and arbitrary” deadlines to complete negotiations and threatened a penalty for failure to meet the deadlines. A county spokesman rejected the accusations.

The SEIU previously agreed to give management 10 days notice of a strike. While the notice is designed to meet that obligation, an actual strike date has not been set, according to the union.

The union action comes about a week after several mediation sessions were held between the two sides.

“The county’s offer is a five-year deal with 13 percent wage increase and 35 percent increase in employee health and welfare benefits,” Communications Director Michael Workman, a county employee, told City News
Service.

“They would also receive $5,250 in cash stipends,” Workman said. “Four other county unions have accepted this deal. It is fair to the employees as well as the taxpayers.”

He said the wage increase is 3 percent in each of the first three years, and 2 percent in both of the final two years. The stipends would be paid out at over $1,000 a year.

The union complaints about arbitrary deadlines are over flex benefits, which are set during the open enrollment process that the county can’t change, according to Workman. He said a ratified agreement needs to be in place by Aug. 31, for SIEU members to receive the benefit increase next year.

If a strike occurs, the county will implement a plan to maintain operations. Certain employees deemed essential would not walk off their jobs, according to Workman.

3 Responses to "County workers could go on strike, Union says"

  1. grunt   August 25, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Public employees should not be ALLOWED to unionize. As I have said before, government work used to be a slightly less pay in exchange for good, defined retirement and job security (hard or impossible to fire/lay off). Now the SEIU “bargains” with the elected officials for the people to pay. Hate to sound like LEE, but we, who pay the salary, have no say – the SEIU contributes heavily to the politicians, and in return now have an excellent salary, excellent benefits and retirement. A normal (non-public employee) union bargains with the EMPLOYER. Public service unions members have increased and now outnumber private service union members.

    The public service unions, I am sure no one will disagree, supports the Democrat party – this should be illegal (support of either party by government paid employees). The perception must be that 1) Democrats support higher pay for unions thus 2) unions are indebted to Dems and contribute more.

    End public service unions; end public employees union from contributing to political parties.

    Reply
  2. Me   August 26, 2017 at 8:58 am

    “The county’s offer is a five-year deal with 13 percent wage increase and 35 percent increase in employee health and welfare benefits,” Communications Director Michael Workman, a county employee, told City News
    Service.

    “They would also receive $5,250 in cash stipends,” Workman said.
    ++++

    And they are complaining?

    Reply
  3. DLM   September 5, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Before you strike would you fill the pot holes on your way out.

    Reply

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