State Employees’ Union Authorizes Strike
Members of the largest union representing state employees on Monday voted to authorize a strike if an agreement is not reached on new contract terms, including contributions for health insurance benefits, the Los Angeles Times reports (Mathews/Halper, Los Angeles Times, 6/13).
Leaders of Service Employees International Union Local 1000 are negotiating over a state proposal to cap the state's contribution to health insurance benefits, a change from the current policy under which the state pays 80% of such costs. Wage increases and "equity" adjustments in some job categories also are at issue in the negotiations, according to the Sacramento Bee.
SEIU 1000 President Jim Hard said if a contract is not reached by Thursday, the union could call "rolling" strikes at workplaces statewide.
SEIU Local 1000 represents about 87,000 state employees, including pharmacy technicians and prison nurses. Union officials declined to state how many members participated in the vote to authorize the strike (Furillo, Sacramento Bee, 6/13).