Union Workers: County Salary Offer Unfair
Nearly 400 workers from the Contra Costa County Department of Employment and Human Services on Tuesday walked off the job to protest the county's salary proposal and a plan to eliminate 85 jobs, the Contra Costa Times reports. The department manages Medi-Cal and child and senior care programs in the county.
Officials from the Service Employees International Union, Local 5635, which represents the workers, will begin negotiations with the county on Thursday. The previous contract expired in September 2005.
The county has proposed a 3% salary increase over four years, while the union has asked for a 10% salary increase over three years.
In addition, the county has said it will eliminate 85 jobs in the social services sector. The job cuts are part of a plan to reduce spending by $20 million to address a $43 million budget deficit (Adamick/Rosen Lum, Contra Costa Times, 5/24).