Following months of negotiations, impasse, mediation and direct appeal to the Board of Supervisors, our 800 employee Shasta County General Unit is in the process of voting to strike over pay and benefits.
At issue is the County's 2.5% offer which, when taken in conjunction with increases in medical insurance imposed in January, would result in an actual 7% cut in take-home pay for many employees who have family medical coverage. This cannot be tolerated as many of the County's highest paid management positions have received various "market adjustments" in the last couple of years, ranging up to 40 plus percent. Clearly, having the money is not the issue.
"Our members are struggling to pay their bills after the 8% increase in inflation last Fall, right in the middle of negotiations, coupled with a significant increase in PERS Medical insurance premiums," stated Impasse Committee Chairman Jamie Butcher. "The Board of Supervisors needs to understand they can't recruit and keep employees when their offer doesn't even keep up with inflation and expenses".
This crisis is borne out by an unprecedented vacancy rate with hundreds of positions unfilled.
The GU last conducted a strike in 2017 so finding themselves in this situation is not new. In fact, after that successful strike our Shasta County County members know exactly what to do.
Stay tuned for updates as we count the votes from our on-line poll at midnight!