County of Santa Clara

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Tentative Agreements Ratified

It’s official. The master tentative agreement and all bargaining units’ tentative agreements have been ratified affecting over 9,000 Santa Clara County workers. The next step is approval by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

Today’s re-vote by the Social Services bargaining unit on its tentative agreement resulted in a “YES” vote, allowing the entire tentative agreement to be ratified.

The four-year agreement provides for annual wage increases of 4.5% the first year, and 3% annually the following three years, no increases to pension contributions, no increases to health care contributions, and no changes to health care plans with a re-opener on health care after the second year.

“We believe this was a good agreement that will help us recruit, retain and develop a first-rate workforce that the community deserves,” said John Sokolich, a social worker who was a member of the negotiations team. “There are other key issues that we will continue working with the county to address, such as improving caseload standards for our Social Service workers unit.”

For the Summary of Economic Achievements in the Tentative Agreement:


Social Services Summary of Tentative Agreements:

Master Tentative Agreement Summary of Economic Achievements:

SSU Tentative Agreement Ratification Re-vote Schedule

Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 
South County: 379 Tomkins Ct. (Uvas Room), Gilroy
11:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.
Bascom: 650 S. Bascom Rd. (Cafeteria), San Jose
11:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.
Senter: 1879 Senter Road (Rome Room), San Jose
11:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.
North County: 1330 W. Middlefield Rd. (Jupiter Room), Mountain View
1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m.
Julian: 333 W. Julian St. (Auditorium), San Jose
2:30p.m. – 4:00p.m.Who may vote: Members of SSU with the following classifications:
- Eligibility Examiner
- Eligibility Worker I, II, III
- Medical Social Worker I, II
- Program Services Aide
- Social Work Coordinator I
- Social Worker I, I-U, II, II-U, III, III-U
- Teaching Homemaker II
- Social Services Appeals Officer


See a useful Supplemental Summary of the SSA Tentative Agreement here

Unified to fight for relief for Social Services Unit

Our SEIU 521 Chapter Bargaining Unit Negotiators are unified and ready to fight for relief for Social Services Unit membership prior to re-vote, scheduled for Wednesday, July 22.

Master Table Negotiators (including Social Services Unit Negotiators) met Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at the union office to strategize together on how we can fight to bring relief to our Social Services Unit members in the short term and long term.

Our next step as a union: Our Social Services Unit Negotiators, with the Master Negotiators’ support, will lead to request a meeting with the County. All units will be sending a representative to the meeting in support of winning relief for Social Services Unit.

Supplemental Question Clarification on Open-Ended Strike:
Q: There was no mention of a strike notice going to the Employer if Social Services Unit goes on an open ended strike. Is that going to happen?
A: Yes, we will send the appropriate 10 day strike notice to the County for Social Services Unit only strike.

Social Services Unit to Re-vote on SSU Tentative Agreement

The Master Negotiating team would like to inform the Chapter General Membership that the Master team is calling for a re-vote of Social Services Unit’s (SSU) Tentative Agreement (TA), which shall take place on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. The re-vote is a result of the Master Negotiating team discovering extensive evidence of misrepresentation given to the Social Services Unit membership about the tentatively agreed upon package proposal.

This means that the results of the July 11 vote count will not be the final determinant on whether our tentatively agreed upon package proposal passes. The final determinant will now be based on the results of the SSU Re-Vote taking place on July 22.

Important reminder: The current package proposal specifically ties the Master Agreement with all side tables. This means that in order to protect our 14.19% wage increase over 4 years, our pensions, and our other gains, every single Bargaining Unit, including the Social Services Unit, would need to approve their Tentative Agreement. Presently, all bargaining units have approved of their side table Tentative Agreements with the exception of Social Services Unit.

See the final Tentative Agreement package proposal reached on June 30 here:

Announcement: Re-vote of Social Services Unit Tentative Agreement

Who: Social Services Unit
When: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 (Times to be determined)
Where: To be determined

For important information on
why there is a re-vote

Tentative Agreement Voted Down

The tentative agreement (TA) was a package proposal from the county which required that all bargaining units pass their respective side agreements in order to ratify the entire TA. One bargaining unit voted “NO” resulting in the entire TA being rejected. The Negotiating Team is meeting this weekend to strategize a path forward that puts our Community First. At the present time, we are working without a contract.

Santa Clara County Chapter Ratification Vote Schedule

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Locations/Times Valley Medical Center, Cafeteria 751 S. Bascom Rd., San Jose 6:00a.m. – 8:30a.m. Valley Specialty Center, Basement Conference Room 751 S. Bascom Rd., San Jose 10:30a.m. – 3:00p.m. Social Services Agency, Uvas Room 379 Tomkins Ct., Gilroy 11:00a.m. – 1:00p.m. William F. James Boy Ranch 19050 Malaguerra Ave., Morgan Hill 1:00p.m. – 2:30p.m. Registrar of Voters Auditorium 1555 Berger Dr., San Jose 3:00p.m. – 5:30p.m. Social Services Agency, Cafeteria 333 W. Julian St., Bldg 1, San Jose 4:00p.m. – 6:30p.m.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Locations/Times Sunnyvale Valley Health Center 660 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Sunnyvale 8:00a.m. – 9:30a.m. Social Services Agency, Saturn Room 1330 Middlefield Road, Mountain View 8:00a.m. – 9:30a.m. Government Center, Lower Level Conf. Room 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose 10:30a.m. – 1:00p.m. Social Services Agency, CWES Rome Room 1879 Senter Road, San Jose 11:30a.m. – 1:00p.m. Be informed on the facts of the Tentative Agreement See the Summary of Economic Achievements in the TA here: Read Summaries (by unit) of the Tentative Agreements here: APT: Blue Collar: Clerical: PCSU: SSU: Supervisory: Read answers to Frequently Asked Questions here: Want to know more about the 2018 “Cadillac Tax”? Read the fact sheet here: Reminder: Only full dues-paying members are eligible to vote on the tentative agreement. Not yet a member? Join the winning team! Come learn more details about our Tentative Agreement! Negotiating Team members will be on hand to discuss and answer questions members have related to the Tentative Agreement. Click here for the Tentative Agreement FAQs: WHEN: Tuesday, July 7 at 6 p.m. WHERE: SEIU Local 521 Office, 2302 Zanker Rd, San Jose, CA 95131 *** Summary of our Master Agreement: MASTER FINAL *** The 2018 Excise “Cadillac” Tax: FAQ Excise Tax-1 *** TENTATIVE AGREEMENT: Frequently Asked QuestionsSanta Clara County - Community First Q: What are the basic terms of the contract I need to know? A: Contract is for four (4) years, with the following wage increases for all workers: Year 1: 4.5% Year 2: 3% Year 3: 3% Year 4: 3% By the fourth year, our gross income will increase by 14.19% (compounded) Q: What are the changes to our medical coverage, health plans, and costs? A: There is no increase in out-of-pocket premium contributions to medical insurance for first two years. At the end of Year 2, we will have a limited medical insurance re-opener. That is when the County and Union will look at all aspects of reducing medical costs so that savings can be passed on to jobs and services. Q: Why didn’t we negotiate a 2-year contract; this locks us into 4 years with a big uncertainty around medical costs the last two years? A: At the start of negotiations, the membership had indicated through a bargaining survey that one priority was to secure a long-term contract for stability. Q: Membership also wants Kaiser, Health Net, and Valley Health Plan to be guaranteed in our contract. If we re-open, what happens? A: We agreed to a re-opener on the medical portion because in 2018, a provision from the Affordable Care Act takes effect where employers who offer “high-cost” medical plans that exceed a threshold will be charged a 40% tax (on the amount that exceeds the threshold.) The cost of this “Cadillac” tax – which applies to all employers (public and private) – will inevitably get passed down to workers. So it is best that we can re-negotiate in 2017 and make Kaiser compete with other providers for our business. Right now, Kaiser has a monopoly in Santa Clara County; it can – and does – charge whatever rates it wants. If we are successful in our re-opener, we might be able to drive down what Kaiser and Health Net charge so that our plans don’t exceed the “Cadillac” plan threshold. Any savings we can help the County with health care costs means more funds for jobs, workforce development, and public programs. Q: How did other unions address the “Cadillac” tax problem? A: Other unions agreed to increase employee contributions towards medical plans and coverage. Q: Any changes to PERS and our retirement contributions? A: There are no changes to our retirement costs for the duration of our 4-year contract. Q: What about rumors that the county will increase our PERS contributions in 2018 because of pension reform? A: PEPRA (the California Public Employees Pension Reform Act of 2013) permits employers to impose “equal sharing of normal costs” of pension plans. However, this would not affect us if we are covered by a contract through 2019. Q: What happens if this TA is voted down by the membership? A: Everything would be off the table because this is a package proposal from the county on the condition that we not go on strike. So rejecting this TA means we go on strike and the county wage increase offer of 4.5% – 3% – 3% – 3% would go away. So would the offer of no change to health care costs. So would the offer of no change to pension costs. We would have to go back to the table for negotiations. The last offer from the county – NOT the package proposal in this TA – would be the basis of bargaining. That proposal included wage increases of 3.25% – 3% – 3% – 3%, with increases in healthcare costs. For these FAQs in a PDF flier format, click here: Tentative Agreement Q&A Spread this handy FAQ flier by sharing this link: Voting sites and times will be announced soon, plan to vote later this week! Highlights of Tentative Agreement What you need to know  Our Community First contract campaign pushed for county investment in frontline services and workers in order to address real crises in the county, such as, critical shortage of staffing; inability to recruit, retain, develop quality workers, and a looming labor shortage. In addition, we pushed the county to address income inequality and public safety. We believe the TA moves us in the right direction. LENGTH OF CONTRACT: 4 years GENERAL WAGE INCREASES FOR ALL WORKERS: 1st Year: 4.5% 2nd Year: 3% 3rd Year: 3% 4th Year: 3% NO changes to out-of-pocket healthcare premiums NO changes to health insurance options* NO changes to PERS [retirement/pension] *NOTE: Fuller details at All full dues-paying members are eligible to vote on this tentative agreement. Voting sites and times will be announced soon, plan to vote next week! Not yet a member? Join the winning team! Strike called off! Tentative Agreement reached for 4 years. Voting times and locations to come. Please thank your Amazing Negotiating Team…. 72-hour nonstop bargaining: Contract update on June 29: Prepare to strike If we go on strike, the strike will begin at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, June 30, and everyone is expected to report to one of the following locations:

  • 70 West Hedding, San Jose 
  • 1867 Senter Road, San Jose 
  • 1555 Berger Road, San Jose 
  • Gilroy Library, 350 West 6th St., Gilroy 
  • Valley Medical Center, 751 South Bascom, San Jose
We will be running picket lines at Valley Medical Center and at 70 W. Hedding for 24 hours. You are expected to join the picket line at the time in which you regularly report to work. If you work 8 hours a day, you are expected to be on the picket line for 8 hours. Essential workers: At Valley Medical Center, please report to picket line #10, located at the corner of Ginger and Moorpark.  For the other sites, please report to picket line #1 station. Bring a copy of your subpoena and your county badge. We will issue you a badge to enter the area. EVERYONE should join the picket lines tomorrow at 6 a.m. if we go on strike. We will come find you if you are needed to report to work and/or you have been personally delivered a court order. Also, the county will inform the union if some in the 475 are missing from work and we would go track that down. Only 475 employees are deemed essential by the court (PDF). We continue to be negotiating with the county today. And one of two things will happen: Either we reach a tentative agreement or we strike tomorrow morning, Tuesday, June 30 at 6 a.m. You will get the news first on Facebook, so please stay tuned: Scam Alert !!! Don’t Be Fooled County resorts to desperate (and illegal) scare tactics County workers are reporting that managers are informing them they are considered “essential workers” and, therefore, prohibited from striking on June 30. This is only the latest in a series of scare tactics management is using because, obviously, the county is scared of what will come if 9,000 workers WALK OFF THE JOB on Tuesday. FACT: Only a court order that is served on the worker can keep a worker from joining the strike on the 30th. Read more here. County May Block Our Emails The county may block our email communications, so please make sure we have your personal email address and/or your cell phone number on file and encourage your co-workers to sign up for email and/or text updates: June 30: Ready. Set. STRIKE! Santa Clara Strike AnnouncementIt’s official: Members are fired up and ready to go on an unfair practice strike on Tuesday, June 30. The announcement was made at a press conference today by members and community leaders at county headquarters. For more information on the press conference, click here. The power of strike is power through numbers! Unless we get a fair agreement by June 30, we need each and every member to be ready to hit the picket lines. Let’s keep the momentum going as the countdown begins! On Saturday, June 27, from 1 to 4 p.m., come to SEIU 521, 2302 Zanker Rd., San Jose to make picket signs, and cheer on the Social Services Unit as they gather for a side table contract negotiation. Things will be happening quickly in the coming days. The fastest way to get the latest is on Facebook. Remember to like our Facebook page and check the latest information there: Questions and Answers: If we need to strike… Find out what working without a contract means. BOS Meeting, June 23 We spoke at the last Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, June 23 before their July recess. The room was full: Thanks for your support! See photos and videos on Facebook; like and share them with your co-workers:

Rally June 19 on Bascom Ave.

Rally June 19 on Bascom Ave.

Friday, June 19 we rallied at 2450 S. Bascom Ave. to show the county that we are willing to do whatever it takes to put our Community First.  Our negotiating team will most likely be negotiating all day and night this weekend. 98% Vote for Strike Sanction RallyAn overwhelming majority of Santa Clara County workers voted on June 16 to seek a strike sanction from the South Bay Labor Council. Once a strike sanction is obtained, the Negotiating Team will then go back and seek a “strike authorization” vote from the membership. For more information, read the Strike Sanction Vote Questions & Answers.

Media Coverage:

Tonya York Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors watched two videos featuring community leaders addressing crises in the county, such as homelessness and understaffed 911 dispatchers. Watch these two videos here:

Luisa Blue on stageWe had a powerful rally on June 16. During the rally, seven posters were on stage representing 7 days of the week and the crises faced by the county (PDF). Check out the photos and videos by following the #sccountyincrisis hashtag:

Post your pictures with the #sccountyincrisis hashtag or email them to

Public Safety in Crisis SCCo-Contract-Update-20150603-side2After several negotiation meetings, representatives for Santa Clara County still have not presented a real economic proposal and actually told our Negotiating Team that members are “milking Workman’s Compensation.” Let’s continue to let the County know that we are willing to do whatever it takes to put Our Community First! Add your name to the petition now and contact Luke Leung at to let him know you are concerned that the County is mismanaging our 9-1-1 Department, endangering workers’ safety and putting our community at risk: Read more (PDF)

SCCo--diabetes-nurse-ratio-color-qrPublic Health in Crisis We have a shortage of nurses! Do something about it. Ask the county to invest in a quality workforce: Like and share the “healthcare crisis” graphic on Facebook: Check out the rise of inequality in Silicon Valley Share these infographics widely on Facebook and elsewhere. We need the support of our community to get a good contract! Weekly Unity Breaks!Join us every week for unity breaks to support your Bargaining Team and remind management that we are STRONGER TOGETHER! Santa Clara County - Community FirstSay “YES! I support investing in Santa Clara County!” Sign the petition today! Then, tell your co-workers, neighbors, friends and family members to sign it:

We represent nearly 11,000 workers at the County of Santa Clara. Having a problem at work? Contact your steward first. Quick Links:

Chapter Meetings & Events

Weekly Unity Breaks!Join us every week for unity breaks to support your Bargaining Team and remind management that we are STRONGER TOGETHER! Leadership Council / General Membership Meeting: 3rd Thursday of every month, 6:00-8:00 p.m. RSVP at or (408) 678-3300. Next meetings:

  • July 16
  • August 20
  • September 17
  • October 15
  • November 19
  • December 17

CAT Meetings Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. SEIU 521 office, 2302 Zanker Road, San Jose Back Log meetings with county 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month. Healthcare Reform Member Committee meetings The Tuesday before the 4th Thursday of the month, 6:00 p.m. SEIU 521 office, 2302 Zanker Road, San Jose Steward Workshops Sign up online now

Chapter News

Get your Chapter updates by text messaging and/or email Sign up now to get the latest bargaining updates and meeting reminders. For text messages only, simply text 521SCCO to 787753 to subscribe. (Standard text messages rates may apply. Read more.)

PRESS RELEASE: Team Based Work Applauded by County Congratulations to the Labor Management Workgroup, which appeared before the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors on April 21, 2015 to receive a commendation for their work which has made significant improvements across SCVHHS. Read the full press release (PDF)

SCCOfarmersmarket1Santa Clara County Workers Launch Campaign with “Fruits of Our Labor” Off to a “fresh” campaign start, members educated the public about the vast array of vital services available to residents. Bargaining Updates (PDF):

Click here for more contract updates and news. Chapter News Archive

Chapter Leadership

Chapter Officers Chapter Chair:

  • wRen Bradley, Social Services

Deputy Chapter Chairs:

  • Teresa Perez, Social Services
  • Marvin Gin, VMC


  • Diana Marroquin, Community Health


  • Michael Dunleavy, Social Services

Vice Chairs:

  • APT – Pauline Wade
  • Blue Collar – Lupe Sandoval Jr., ROV
  • Clerical – Muriel Frederick, Clerk of the Board
  • Eligibility Supervisors – Frank Medina, AAC
  • Eligibility Workers – Claudia Eck, DEBS
  • Environmental Health – Peder Eriksson, Jr, EVH
  • Probation Counselor Safety – Thaddeus Bangle
  • Public Health Nursing – Timothy Hill, Public Health
  • Social Services – Hector San Roman, Social Services
  • Social Service Supervisors – Carla Torres, South County

Chapter Stewards – Updated May 8, 2015 Stewards A-Z (PDF) | Stewards by Dept (PDF) Chapter Bargaining Team  County of Santa Clara Bargaining Team 2015

Chapter Contract

Santa Clara County Chapter Contract-2013-2015 (PDF) SSA-DEBS Continuing Operations Side-letter (PDF) Santa Clara County Chapter Bylaws (PDF)

Chapter News Archive

The Worker’s Voice – December 2014 (PDF) Chapter Election Results – UNOFFICIAL Unofficial VOTE TALLY – FINAL COUNT (Oct. 10, 2014) The Workers’ Voice VOL 33, NO 6 – September 2014 (PDF) The Workers’ Voice VOL 33, no. 5 – June 2014 (PDF) The Workers’ Voice Vol. 33 no. 4 – May 2014 (PDF) The Workers’ Voice Vol. 33 no. 3 – March 2014 (PDF) The Workers’ Voice Vol. 33 no. 2 – March 2014 (PDF) The Workers’ Voice Vol. 33 no. 1 – January 2014 (PDF) Exempt Versus Non Exempt Job Classes (PDF) Santa Clara County wage increase comes just in time for the Holidays Dec. 2013 SEIU 521 won an important wage increase victory this past August when our SEIU 521 Community First campaign pushed the Santa Clara County to offer a 5% wage increase (over two years) on the same day members were scheduled to vote for a strike date. Community First: Not just a slogan We stood together and put Community First. Read the op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News about how our work continues. (Sept. 23, 2013) We have a contract (Aug. 2013)

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