November 5, 2018
SEIU Local 521
For Immediate Release.
Contact: Victor Gamiz, firstname.lastname@example.org, (602)335-9282
Stanislaus County Workers Set to Strike Over Unfair Labor Practices on Monday November 5
County workers are calling for better community services in contract negotiations
(MODESTO, Calif.,)– Stanislaus County workers represented by SEIU Local 521 have called an Unfair Labor Practices strike for Monday, November 5th. On the eve of mid-term elections, hundreds of workers are striking to improve the safety of Stanislaus County’s most vulnerable populations and the working conditions of those whose jobs it is to help and protect them.
Contract negotiations between County workers and the County of Stanislaus have been going on since April. SEIU Local 521 represents county social workers, child support specialists, mental health clinicians and therapists, community service workers, community psychologists, animal control, veterans’ service providers, librarians and others who are responsible for keeping at-risk children and seniors out of dangerous conditions, assisting the unemployed into jobs, and homeless outreach.
“The Board of Supervisors has chosen not to prioritize staffing and funding for services that children, the elderly and disabled, veterans, and the public in general need,” says Kate Selover, President of SEIU Local 521, Stanislaus County Chapter, and a Child Support Officer with the county for 30 years. “The County is jeopardizing emergency response support, child protections, and homelessness support programs the people of Stanislaus County need to be safe and healthy.”
Too many children are already vulnerable in our community. Hundreds of children in Stanislaus County are even more at risk due to vacant emergency response social worker positions. The underfunding of critical services has led to understaffing, high turnover, and fewer employees left doing more work. This breakdown in public services endangers our community, especially those who depend on vital public services like aging and adult services, behavioral health, public health, and mental health services.
Eric Schwarzentraub, Social Worker for Stanislaus County, is witness to the detrimental effects of the county’s failure to invest in our community at a time when the county’s finances are improving.
“We really need to see more effort from the Board of Supervisors,” said Schwarzentraub, who has been working with the community’s most vulnerable populations for two decades. “We do not have their support, which is crucial to the delivery of quality services to the public. The county’s unwillingness to invest in our communities ultimately results in issues of safety, increased homelessness and puts our children in harm’s way.”
“We cannot afford to let one child fall through the cracks,” said Chapter President Selover. “We believe Stanislaus County can and must do better at providing the services our community needs, and can afford to do so.”
Stanislaus County workers will be striking starting at 7:30 am on Monday, November 5th. Picket lines will be set up at the Stanislaus County Community Services Agency Building at 251 E. Hackett Road in Modesto.
Service Employees International Union, Local 521 represents public-sector workers in Stanislaus County and across the Central Valley. We are committed to making sure the needs of our community and the vital services we provide come first. We believe our communities thrive when residents, leaders and workers recognize that we are all in this together when it comes to our safety, health, and well-being.