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San Diego County Workers Ratify Five-Year Contract

San Diego, Calif.—The union representing most of San Diego County’s 17,000 employees has ratified a new contract. More than 75% of the voters approved the five-year agreement, Service Employees International Union Local 221 announced Sept. 14. It will give about 10,000 county workers, including librarians, social workers, and nurses, raises ranging from 13% to 17%, along with bonuses averaging $1,050 a year and a 35% increase in health-care funding to help limit rising out-of-pocket costs. New hires, however, will have to contribute more to their pension fund and will get less back when they retire. The agreement averted a strike scheduled for Sept. 5-6. “This contract is a step forward in closing the wage gap for critical public servants, like nurses and social workers, which is an essential step in alleviating chronic staff turnover and significant short-staffing of services to vulnerable residents of San Diego,” said Local 221 President David Garcias. The county Board of Supervisors must also approve the contract, and may vote on it Sept. 26. Read more

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