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City of Santa Cruz workers to go on strike next week

SANTA CRUZ — An unfair labor practices strike will begin Monday after contract negotiations between the city of Santa Cruz and city service workers with SEIU Local 521 workers failed for months. Those planning to strike next week include workers from maintenance, sanitation, public safety, libraries, parks, water departments and more.

SEIU Local 521 Santa Cruz Chapter President Ken Bare said: “I live here in Santa Cruz, and so do most of my family. I’m sorry the people are going to suffer, but I need to tell the City Council that they need to treat their employees properly. is a citizen.”

The strike is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Monday, and Santa Cruz residents should expect delays or suspensions of city services after that time, but the city said police, fire, water and sewage, etc. still available. An unfair labor practices strike is a legally protected activity and workers cannot be dismissed or replaced for participation. The strike came after the union rejected the city’s proposal for a 12 percent pay increase over three years.

“It’s disappointing that we’ve reached this point,” said Santa Cruz city manager Matt Hafakar. I am indebted.”

Workers at SEIU Local 521 criticized the city’s inability to recruit and maintain employees to reach adequate staffing levels, the treatment of workers, and the cost-of-living adjustment proposals accepted by city officials at the front desk. Frustrated by attempts to compare with salaries. Line service workers, according to union organizers.

Juan Molina, Vice President, SEIU Local 521 Santa Cruz Chapter, said: “We are understaffed and people are not getting the services they pay for because salaries are low compared to other cities.”

Bare told Sentinel that the union would continue to negotiate for a fair deal, but the city told the union to “kick the rock”. , filed a complaint against the union with the Civil Service Relations Commission, alleging illegal strikes and bad faith negotiations.The union has been given 20 days to respond to the September 29 complaint.

“Santa Cruz residents are facing a strike. The city council allows management to engage in unfair labor practices while urging them to accept salary increases far below those offered to top executives.” “It’s trying to enforce a minimum wage,” Bear said. We’re trying to get our service workers to accept less than $1 an hour.”

Service Employees International Union Local 521 represents over 50,000 public, nonprofit and private sector workers in California.

For service interruptions, please visit: cityofsantacruz.com/serviceimpacts.

https://www.siliconvalley.com/2022/10/01/city-of-santa-cruz-workers-will-strike-next-week/ City of Santa Cruz workers to go on strike next week

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