County Committed to Serving Public and Respecting Employees During Strike
County services will be available during the anticipated job action
Published: November 16, 2015
Santa Rosa, CA – November 16, 2015 – SEIU Local 1021, representing over 2,000 County employees, has called a strike for Tuesday, November 17, 2015. The County recognizes and supports the right of employees to engage in legal job actions up to and including strikes and values the significant contributions these employees make throughout the County every day.
The County also acknowledges the rights of citizens to conduct business with their local government and is prepared to ensure public access to services during this time. County management has plans in place to assure continuity of services to residents and visitors including public safety, road maintenance, health and social services. All County offices will remain open.
The County continues to bargain in good faith with SEIU. County management and SEIU have met more than 20 times over the last three months and spent more than four days in mediation in an effort to reach an agreement on a new contract. An agreement has not yet been reached. Negotiations are scheduled again for Wednesday November 18, 2015.
The Board of Supervisors is committed to meeting the needs of its employees and recognizes that their compensation was impacted by the Great Recession due to significantly reduced local revenues. The Board values its workforce and is dedicated to providing competitive compensation for all County employees consistent with available financial resources, while taking into consideration funding other priorities such as our roads, affordable housing and other public services. The Board also shares an interest with SEIU in addressing escalating health care costs.
The County has proposed a 21-month agreement that includes an increase to the County contribution to medical insurance at a flat dollar amount equivalent to approximately 75% of the Kaiser HMO plan, plus an additional 2% in salary and benefit enhancements. The proposed package represents an increase of approximately 4% in total compensation. “We have explored many options to try to reach agreement with SEIU. Based on employee concerns, management has focused on addressing the health care costs that significantly impact our employees’ take home pay,” said Veronica A. Ferguson, County Administrator. “The offer balances the interests of the County to responsibly use taxpayer dollars with the business case for competitive wages and benefits. We want all of our employees and their families to have access to affordable health care.”
Due to anticipated high numbers of employees participating in the strike there may be traffic delays or reduced parking at or near County facilities. The public is encouraged to take this into account when conducting business with the County during the strike.