One month after the contract between the county and the Service Employees International Union 1021 expired, the two sides remain at odds with the next bargaining session scheduled for Monday.
After a recent letter exchange between county and union leaders regarding labor negotiations yielded no compromise, five members of the union voiced their concerns during the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.
According to a SEIU Local 1021 newsletter, their concerns included inadequate staffing and wages.
The county is proposing a 6-percent pay increase over three years while the union is asking for 13 percent increase over three years.
On Thursday, Assistant County Administrator Deb West said that the county will continue negotiations as long as the union is willing to negotiate, but there is no time frame of when they may reach an agreement. She said she feels that the two sides will come to an agreement.
In a letter exchange last week between Georgia Cochran, chief spokesperson for San Joaquin County, and Union Attorney Manuel A. Boigues, the county and the union sparred over a wage proposal.
Cochran said the union is free to seek mediation independent of the county as a result of declaring an impasse.
“Your letter tells the union that it should accept the county’s predetermined 2,2,2 wage proposal (6 percent over three years) and that only with that proposal as the centerpiece would the county entertain a new proposal from the union,” Boigues said in response. “The county’s effort to dictate what the union should accept or propose is stunning.”
In his letter, Boigues requested that the county accept the assistance of a mediator to help further negotiations and return to the table without the pre-conditions set forth in their letter.
Between July 5 and 7 at least 4,400 county workers went on a strike which was suspended after the union members attended the July 12 meeting requesting that the county come back to the table for negotiations.