Santa Clara County Employees Ratify New Labor Contract

By Bay City News
|  Friday, Aug 30, 2013  |  Updated 8:46 PM PDT
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Santa Clara County Employees Ratify New Labor Contract

NBC Bay Area

More than 9,000 Santa Clara County workers have agreed to a new labor deal.

Santa Clara County employees on Friday approved new labor deal with the county, with around 85 percent voting to ratify, union officials said.

The contract deal was announced Wednesday, nearly a week after the Service Employees International Union Local 521 threatened a strike, citing issues including required overtime by emergency dispatchers.

The agreement includes a 2 percent wage increase in the first year and a 3 percent increase in the second year.

It also increases worker contributions toward retiree health care costs by $10 per pay period or $260 annually, and lengthens the amount of time employees have to work before they are eligible for retiree health care.

Employees will also share in the cost of health premiums.

Local 521 also represents public health nurses, hospital assistants, tax assessors, criminalists and other county employees.

Members voted on Aug. 13 to authorize a strike, and last week threatened to have 911 emergency dispatchers join the job walk-off.

But County Executive Jeff Smith said dispatchers are essential public safety workers and that the county would request a court order to compel them to stay at work.

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