Santa Clara County Employees Call Off Strike After Deal Reached - NBC Bay Area
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Santa Clara County Employees Call Off Strike After Deal Reached

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    The union representing the 9,000 Santa Clara County workers, who were scheduled to walk off the job Tuesday morning, has reached a tentative agreement with the county. Stephanie Chuang reports. (Published Tuesday, June 30, 2015)

    The union representing the 9,000 Santa Clara County workers, who were scheduled to walk off the job Tuesday morning, has reached a tentative agreement with the county.

    Service Employees International Union Local 521 said in a press release, the agreement, which must be voted on by the membership and approved by the Board of Supervisors, covers four years.

    The details of the compromise were not immediately released. Both sides said that information would be disclosed once the members review the details for ratification.

    SEIU Local 521 employees threatened to strike due to unfair labor practices, economic inequality, public safety, a labor shortage and other issues.

    The county had sought a court injunction to block the strike, set to begin on Tuesday at 6 a.m. But the Santa Clara County Superior Court on Monday ruled only 475 county workers out of the 9,000 represented by SEIU Local 521 could be deemed “essential employees” and would need to report to work.

    In a statement, County Executive Jeff Smith said: "We are pleased that after negotiating through much of the night, the county and SEIU were able to reach a tentative agreement. Although the agreement has to be ratified by its members, the strike has been averted and residents will be able to access the full array of county services today and during the weeks ahead."

    The union represents workers from an array of county departments, including 9-1-1 dispatchers, public health nurses, x-ray technicians and child welfare workers. 

    Union officials have said they want the county to address a 35 percent staff shortage within the 911 Communications Department, as well as a looming labor shortage where about 2,000 workers will reach retirement age in five years.