Most San Joaquin County employees will face six furlough days per year after county labor negotiators declared an impasse in labor negotiations.

The furlough days will constitute a 2.3 percent salary decrease, according to an email sent to the media by the county shortly before 6 p.m. Monday. About 3,900 employees represented by Service Employees International Union will be affected.

The impasse was declared because SEIU didn’t respond to what county officials call their “last, best and final offer,” according to county Human Resources Director Cindy Clays. County negotiators say they assume that the union rejected the offer.

Patrick Ikeda, president of the San Joaquin County chapter of SEIU, said that declaring an impasse was premature.

“They’re trying to garner public support for their position rather than ours,” Ikeda said.

By declaring the impasse, the county will operate under several new provisions made in the last offer on Nov. 2. They are included in a letter to employees by County Administrator Manuel Lopez. It can be accessed at www.tinyurl.com/cakojcv.

Ikeda said he will continue to talk to SEIU members and to county negotiators.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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