County of San Benito

We represent nearly 276 workers at the County of San Benito.

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Chapter News

New San Benito County COPE Committee Forming!

We are officially opening the nomination process for a brand new committee in San Benito known as the Committee On Political Education (COPE). Monterey and Santa Cruz counties both have one but now it’s San Benito’s turn. 
As you may know, our ability to build political power as a collective group comes from the many small monthly contributions that members make to SEIU 521’s COPE political action fund. Our COPE fund gives us the ability to do things like:
  • Help elect pro-worker candidates to the San Benito County Board of Supervisors, Hollister City Council, SBC Water District— these are the people who ultimately play a role in determining what type of compensation and benefits their County or City is willing to negotiate and offer to employees.
  • Help pass tax measures that can generate more revenue so that we have the ability to negotiate improvements to compensation and staffing (a recent example – our union used COPE funds to support Measure W in Hollister).
  • Educate and get out the union vote to defeat anti-worker initiatives such as when anti-pension statewide propositions are placed on the ballot that would eliminate or reduce pension benefits.
COPE is a way for working people to build political power locally so that elected officials don’t just see our union as another group to take a check from and then ignore; but they instead view all of us as a powerful group that has an essential voice in how Hollister and San Benito County are governed and developed.
We are currently accepting officer nominations for COPE chair, COPE vice-chair, and recording secretary. Please nominate someone who you think would be a good fit for these positions or even yourself if you are up to it! You must be a dues-paying member AND a COPE contributor to nominate a candidate, run for office, and vote in this election. To join COPE, please email 
View the Nomination Form Here. Please fill out and drop off your nomination form either at our Salinas office (334 Monterey St, Salinas) or e-mail/fax them to The deadline to submit nominations for COPE officers is March 31.
After we receive nominations, we will hold an election for COPE officers on:
Thursday, April 5,  5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
San Benito County Library: 470 5th Street

Tentative Agreement Ratified!

Our Tentative Agreement with the County was ratified on Oct. 4, 2017 with an 82% “yes” vote and an incredible voter turnout by members (you!). The Board will ratify our contract at their Oct. 24th meeting.

As you may recall, a few weeks prior to our Tentative Agreement, the County had proposed only offering a 2.75% raise each year for 2 years—and nothing else. Following that, our members packed the County Board of Supervisors meeting, spoke out at their meeting, emailed Supervisors, and rallied outside with more of our members than we have ever seen in our history as a union.

As a result of all the actions everyone took as a united union, your bargaining team was able to reach an agreement with the County at the end our last bargaining session yesterday.  This is what it looks like:

Tentative Agreement Reached on our Economic Proposals:

Wages: total of 7% over 2 years

  • 3.5% raise effective October 2017
  • 0.5% raise effective April 2018
  • 3.0% raise effective October 2018

Signing Bonus:

  • $1,200 signing bonus effective October 2017
  • $1,000 signing bonus effective October 2018

Holiday Closures (employees get last week of December off):

  • December 2017: Holiday closures on December 26, 27, 28, 29
  • December 2018: Holiday closures on December 26, 27, 28

G-Step for all:

  • G-Step (a 5% increase) will now be restored for all employees. (Employees hired after 10/1/14 weren’t eligible for G-step—this will now be reversed)

A few points to make:

  • This agreement means we will see a total of 7% in raises over 2 years (compared to Monterey County, which got a total of 7% in raises over 3 years).
  • Workers will have gained a total of 4% in raises within the first 6 months.
  • G-Step is a 5% wage increase that will ultimately benefit 140 employees and counting.
  • We value this entire economic package at 12.5% over two years (wages = 7%, $1,200 = 1.5%, $1000 = 1.3%, holiday closures = 2.7%)
  • In the last six years, the wages in this agreement is more than anyone’s seen.

We feel that this is a definite step forward for our membership. It represents that the Board heard our united voices, and we would not have anything close to this agreement without everyone’s collective work put into this.  This agreement shows what happens when we are UNITED AND STRONGER THAN EVER!


San Benito County Tentative Agreement Summary


September 20 Bargaining Update

We’ve been negotiating for months now with very little movement from the County. From August to Sept 20, the County has only increased its proposal for raises from 2.0% to now 2.75% raises each year for 2 years.
Does that sound to you like a proposal that values San Benito County employees? 
This is the most crucial time in our fight for a fair contract. We have one week until our MOU expires – one last week to really prove to the Board that we are united and determined to fight. If we can’t get the Board of Supervisors’ attention now, then we are not optimistic that they will make a better offer. Click here to see the rest of our proposals and find out how you can get involved in the fight.

August 17 Bargaining Update

Today was a good day for Bargaining. We exchanged our counter proposal on economics with the County and ended up having a lively conversation on retirement. This was really the first back and forth conversation that both sides had since Bargaining began. With about six weeks to go until our contract expires the Bargaining Team is working really hard on how the County can provide economic increases to our members.

In turn, the members have shown their support for the Bargaining Team by purpling up on Tuesdays, asking great questions of the Bargaining Team during Chapter Meetings and rallying together at lunch time.  All this activity and support is producing direct changes in our favor at the Bargaining Table.

Make your voices heard again this August 22nd at the Board of Supervisors meeting and lunchtime rally outside of the Board chambers. Show to the Board that you are united in fighting for a good contract!

In Solidarity,

Your Bargaining Team

Click here to read our August 17 amended and counter-proposals.

Copies of all proposals, counter-proposals and tentative agreements (TA’s) can be viewed here.

August 10 Bargaining Update

When we met with the County last Thursday, August 10, they came back with their opening proposal on wages & benefits: they are rejecting ALL of our economic proposals that are not wages, and they are proposing a two-year contract with the following wages:

County’s Opening Proposal on Wages:

Article 8.1 General Salary Increases

  1. Effective the first full pay period after Union ratification and BOS approval of the successor MOU on the Board’s regular agenda each salary range in this unit shall be increased by 1.0%
  2. Effective the first full pay period six months after the increase is conferred in 8.1.a above each salary range in this unit shall be increased by 1.0%
  3. Effective the first full pay period in October 20218, each salary range in this unit shall be increased by 1.0%
  4. Effective the first full pay period in July 2019, each salary range in this unit shall be increased by 1.0%

See the proposal here: 

When you factor in that the County is proposing that employees pay 1% more into their pension, and that employees will be on the hook for further healthcare increases, this proposal is really not much a proposal at all, and it is a slap in the face to our county employees who have invested so much of our lives and work here!

Second, the County “costed out” what our proposals would cost, and they badly inflated the numbers, pretending that we had a workforce of 326 employees (we have around 270 and 50 vacancies that will never be filled).  They incorrectly added up their totals, coming up with the ridiculous number that our proposals would cost the County $14,296,022!  We rejected their estimates and told them to come back to us when they have some real numbers to share.

See the County’s ridiculous estimates of our proposals here:

Copies of all proposals, counter-proposals and tentative agreements (TA’s) can be viewed here.

 Save the Date: August 14 Chapter Meeting

**Please Note: Our monthly chapter meeting will not be held during lunch at Strawhat!
Where: SB County Library Conference Room
When: Monday, August 14 at 5:15pm

July 31 Bargaining Update

The County offered a 401k proposal but did not address the wage disparity between frontline staff and top-paid managers. Click here to read more.

July 24 Bargaining Update

Thanks to everyone who attended the July 25 Unity Rally! Click here to read about our latest negotiations updates from July 20 and 24.

Our contract campaign is underway!

Meet Your 2017 Bargaining Team! From Left to Right: Suzy Caston (child support services), Laura Naccarato (assessor's office), Michael Silverman (Ag Commissioner) and Denise Quintana (child support services).

Meet Your 2017 Bargaining Team! From Left to Right: Suzy Caston (child support services), Laura Naccarato (assessor’s office), Michael Silverman (ag commissioner) and Denise Quintana (child support services).

Want a meeting at your worksite? Email

“United We Bargain; Divided We Beg.”  Show Your Support.


July 11 Bargaining Update: Contract Negotiations Have Started!

As we move forward with negotiating our next union contract, it is the intent of the bargaining team to provide updates of every bargaining session we hold with the county within a day or two.   Updates will include a summary of what was discussed, and we will provide links to scanned copies of any proposals that either the Union or the County proposes at the bargaining table.

The bargaining team met with the County on Tuesday, July 11.  At this bargaining session, the focus was on receiving a budget presentation from the County.  No bargaining proposals from either side were exchanged. Read more.


A union is only as strong as its members, and we cannot win a strong contract for our members without your involvement.

Support your bargaining team today by becoming a member:

 Become a Contract Action Team member:

Our goal is to have in each department and worksite someone who can help us give the latest updates to their coworkers and who can tell them when we need them to show their support. If that sounds like you, complete the following form and contact to let us know you’re ready to help us win at the bargaining table!   Sign up now to join the Contract Action Team (CAT)

Purple Tuesdays

It is essential for management and the county Board of Supervisors to see that in every department and in every worksite we are UNITED AND STRONGER THAN EVER in our commitment to WIN for our county employees and our community.

Show your support by wearing purple and/or SEIU gear every Tuesday!

Join our San Benito County Facebook Group

Join our private facebook group for San Benito County workers so you can stay up to date on our contract negotiations.

Recent News

SBC Board Approves Excessive Raise for CAO Ray Espinosa

Our county is struggling to retain workers, who are taking jobs in neighboring jurisdictions because SB County wages are not enough to make ends meet.  Despite this, Board Chair Jaime De La Cruz state that it is important to increase Ray’s salary before he takes a higher paying job elsewhere.  Click here to read more.

Chapter Newsletters
The Horseshoe – March 2017 (PDF)

Chapter News Archive

Chapter Meetings & Events

Steward Training Workshops
Sign up online

Chapter Leadership

Suzy Caston, President
Denise Quintana, Vice President
David Garcia, Treasurer
Laura Naccarato, Secretary


Denise Quintana
Joan Miranda
Michael Silverman

Bargaining Team

Suzy Caston, Child Support Services Department
Laura Naccarato, Assessor’s Department
Denise Quintana, Child Support Services Department
Michael Silverman, Agricultural Commissioner’s Department

Join the Contract Action Team (CAT)!
CAT Form – San Benito County (PDF)

Chapter Contracts

San Benito County Contract  (PDF)
San Benito County Bylaws (PDF)

Chapter News Archive

Aug. 2016, San Benito County Leaves PERS Healthcare

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