Thousands of Santa Clara County workers reached a tentative agreement with the county late Thursday, avoiding what would have been their second strike since October, according to union officials.
More than 12,000 public sector workers represented by SEIU Local 521 were on the brink of a countywide strike announced Sunday after nearly a year of ongoing negotiations that included workers going on strike for the first time in 40 years back in October.
The four-year agreement includes four general wage increases, reversing the county’s demand to eliminate the June 2020 raise, the union said. The pact includes other improvements that will reduce employee turnover and make county jobs more attractive.
"We are extremely proud to have stood resilient and united throughout these negotiations," Janet Diaz, SEIU Local 521 chapter president, said in a statement. "As a result, we have an agreement that will truly help us meet the needs of our families and the community we serve. This agreement allows us to begin to rebuild the long-standing partnership between management and our workforce to ensure Santa Clara County can be the best place to live, work and raise our families."
Before taking effect, the tentative deal must be ratified by the union's rank-and-file members and approved by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.