Over 9,000 Santa Clara County public employees are ready to strike over contract negotiations.
The Service Employees International Union Local 521 will vote on Wednesday and Thursday whether to accept or reject the county’s best and final offer regarding pay and benefits.
NBC Bay Area says the vote does not looking promising and the South Bay should prep for an impending strike.
SCC public employees are displeased with contract negotiations. The county has asked employees to contribute slightly more to pay down the over $1.8 billion debt. This remains one of the biggest points of contention between the negotiating parties.
According to Deputy County Executive Luke Leung, a number of union members already pay either nothing or minimal costs towards their health-care premiums.
Two weeks ago, the SEIU Local 521 voted overwhelmingly to authorize the strike with 96% of members in favor. Soon after, the county’s 911 dispatchers threatened last week to strike over mandatory overtime. The County has asked current dispatchers to pick up the slack—over hundreds of hours of overtime each month—while they seek qualified new employees.
A strike would halt county operations. One public employee from the County Clerk’s Office commented in the NBC interview that because of the strike, “there will be no board meetings unless the Board wants to have them all by themselves.”
Clara County Chief Operating Officers remarked, “It’s a big deal.”
The same representative from the County Clerk’s office stated that “they are watching everyone” and will take note of anyone who cross the picket line.
Watch NBC’s full video report here.