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San Joaquin County, employees reach tentative labor agreement

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Posted: Monday, November 21, 2011 3:20 pm | Updated: 7:30 pm, Tue Nov 22, 2011.

Negotiators for San Joaquin County and most of the county employees have reached a tentative agreement, both parties announced Monday afternoon.

Service Employees International Union submitted a new proposal to the county during the weekend. It was accepted and signed by county negotiators Monday morning.

The agreement is subject to final ratification by the full SEIU membership. A vote is scheduled for Dec. 1. SEIU's 4,500-plus county employees have worked without a contract since July 1.

"We recognize the county's fiscal position, and we are willing to do our part to help meet the community's needs," Patrick Ikeda, chapter president of SEIU Local 1021, said in a news release.

"The agreement provides a health premium stipend for many of our lowest-paid employees, which was a critical issue for our members," Ikeda said. "We look forward to implementation so we can continue to provide the many critical services to the community."

County Human Resource Director Cindy Clays said in the same news release, "We're very pleased with this agreement as the county has been struggling to provide a truly balanced budget since the start of the recession. This agreement, when implemented, will give the county more tools to reach a balanced budget."

Terms of the agreement were not released, pending ratification by SEIU's membership. The Board of Supervisors will consider adopting the agreement sometime in December. If approved, the contract will expire on June 30, 2013.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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