In recent memory, there hasn’t been a public employee strike in Riverside County, but both the County and its second-largest employee union are preparing for one. And it could be a big one, as the union represents 5,800 employees.

Last week, after eight months of negotiations, the employee union rejected the County’s last, best, and final offer. The offer, which was rejected by an overwhelming 92% of the union’s voter, came as a surprise to the County.

But after the surprise passed, the threat of a strike was made and the County began preparing to tap temporary employee pools, including a database of 120,000 applicants for various jobs in the County.

From the North County Times:

Tensions have been intensifying between Riverside County and its public employee unions in recent months as officials attempt to win concessions in labor contracts to help the big government agency ride out the recession.

Those tensions boiled over last week in an overwhelming rejection of a new contract offer to the county’s second-largest union.
As a result, Riverside County faces the prospect of its first employee strike in recent memory —- one that could potentially involve one-third of its workforce.

Read the full article here.