Santa Clara County workers tell management: Try again

Press Release: June 21, 2011

Contact: Khanh Weinberg – (408) 678-3364

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nearly 3,000 Santa Clara County workers took part in a vote Monday and delivered a clear and strong message to county leaders: They will not accept anything less than a fair contract.

The daylong vote took place at a half-a-dozen work places from Gilroy to the County Government Center where supervisors meet. An overwhelming majority – 97 percent – voted to reject the county’s proposal and directed the union negotiating team to continue contract talks with the county. Members also directed SEIU Local 521 to seek a strike sanction from the Central Labor Council.

Claudia Eck, county Eligibility Worker and Negotiating Team member, said: “With nearly 3,000 workers taking the time to vote, it clearly shows our membership is united and engaged. And the fact that the overwhelming majority voted to reject the county’s proposal, as negotiators we now have a very clear mandate to fight back against management’s draconian cuts that would leave working families even more vulnerable in this economy.”

The county’s proposal calls for $49 million in concessions from SEIU 521 workers, with another $13 million in takeaways. Workers have countered with millions of dollars of budget solutions that the county continues to consider.

Eck called on the membership to continue its efforts at highlighting the valuable services county workers provide the community. “We care about what we do and we want the county to show its respect for us and for our work,” Eck said.

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The Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.

For more information, visit www.seiu521.org

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8 Responses to “Santa Clara County workers tell management: Try again”

  1. KRISTIN says:

    WHOOOOHOOO! Now one qustion whats wrong with the 3% that voted for the contract! I say it should have been 100% NO! Maybe the county will finally realize we are not playing their game!

    • Carmen Romero says:

      These are the people that sit at their desks, don’t write letters, don’t attend meetings and much less rallys! They are the ones that don’t have an opinion will complain when it is all said and done and due to their lack of support we may end up with an unfair contract.

    • R S Burdman says:

      I’m not so concerned about the 3%
      I chalk that up to people being confused about a “Strike Vote”
      They may be new workers who think that it means a strike and not just opening that up as an option
      They may be afraid to strike for fear of losing their jobs

      What I am concerned about is this:
      We have approximately 11,000 workers in Local 521 per the opening of this article
      However, only 3,000 voted.
      That is less than 30% of the workers in our Union

      To me that shows a lack of support from the bulk of the workers. If I were on the Board I would think that most of the people working don’t care about the contract.

      We need to make sure that more people show up for the vote and we need to get the word our fellow workers and make them aware that they have a voice that needs to be heard

  2. Gloria Carrillo says:

    County Executives – take note

    WE are one! WE stand as ONE!
    WE demand a Fair Contract!

  3. Carol Garza says:

    Plz no health cost or Medicare increase for retirees. We are already struggling in this economy & with housing devalued.

  4. Rob says:

    Would have been real nice if the union had notified us on Monday instead of Tuesday that there was a vote. My department has not heard from the union in over a year and they do not return calls to us. Since there are so few of us obviously they do not give a damn about us.

  5. Karen Johnston says:

    I agree with Carol Garza regarding retirees. Our incomes are limited, housing devalued, so please leave our healthcare and Medicare alone….


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