San Diego County Workers Prepare for Possible Strike
Features, Labor News Briefs, Municipal Government, New York

San Diego County Workers Prepare for Possible Strike

August 20, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

San Diego, Calif.—The largest union of San Diego County employees is preparing for a possible strike, after working almost two months under an expired contract. Service Employees International Union Local 221, which represents about 10,000 of the county’s 17,000 employees, including librarians, social workers, and nurses, announced Aug. 11 that 90% of its members had voted to authorize a walkout. “Workers have been attempting to bargain an agreement with the county since February of this year but they have been met by illegal harassment, intimidation, and refusal to bargain in good faith,” the union said in a statement Aug. 16, adding that the county “has repeatedly presented worsening offers as workers have attempted to reach a compromise.” “They’re playing dirty,” Local 221 President Tracey Carter told KFMB-TV after a strike-preparation meeting that night. “They come to us and say, ‘Here’s what we’re giving you, take it or leave it.” A key issue is that the county wants to reduce new employees’ pensions while increasing their contributions to their retirement fund. The talks are in mediation, and the union has agreed to give the county 10 days notice before striking. Read more

August 20, 2017

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