Santa Cruz County workers ratify three-year contract

Media Advisory                         Contact:  Jim Heaney
Sept. 13, 2013                                                     (831) 566-1533

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – After four months of bargaining, Santa Cruz County workers voted Thursday to ratify a three-year agreement with the county.

The agreement recognizes sacrifices workers have made in the past five years during the recession and starts the process of reinvesting in recruiting and retaining a quality workforce to serve the community.

Workers’ concessions during the economic recession included furloughs, lay-offs, and loss of qualified staff. The new contract makes progress on rebuilding our workforce and strengthening our core public services.

Highlights include:

  • Reduced furloughs
  • Bringing nurse practitioners’/physician assistants’ compensation in line with surrounding jurisdictions
  • A modest wage compensation increase each year

“After years of cuts to services and our workforce, we have a lot of rebuilding to do,” said Veronica Rodriguez, SEIU Local 521 Santa Cruz County Chapter President. “This contract will restore our services and help us recruit a cutting-edge workforce to serve our community.”

The Board of Supervisors previously approved the tentative agreement on Sept. 10. Now with the members’ vote of approval, the new agreement is effective from September 11, 2013 through September 23, 2016.

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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

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