October 26, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Sacramento, CA – After six months of talks with Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, the union representing 95,000 state workers will vote this week on whether to authorize a strike.
“We have not yet reached agreement on a livable wage that values our work and respects the services we provide to all Californians,” SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker wrote in a message to members Oct. 17. Brown’s administration is offering a four-year deal that would give annual raises of slightly less than 3%, but workers would also have to contribute 3.5% of their salary toward retiree health care. “We still believe the state can do better,” Walker said. California is projected to have an $11.5 billion surplus this year, she wrote, but “a staggering 39% of our members cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in the county they live in.” Local 1000 represents workers in nine bargaining units, including nurses, administrative employees, and information technology workers. In order to strike legally, the union would probably have to declare an impasse in bargaining and go through mediation with the state. Read more