Sunnyvale City Employees on Verge of Walkout

City workers in Sunnyvale are on the verge of a walkout over wages, according to an employee union.

On Wednesday, 120 members of the Sunnyvale Employees Association held a rally at City Hall in the midst of talks with the city over wages. The 450-member union includes operators at the Water Pollution Control Plant, maintenence workers, building inspectors and civilian support for police and fire services.

A fact-finding hearing took place Wednesday, the final step in what has been a contentious two years of negotiations. The union says members have not received a raise in five years and has threatened to strike if talks fail this time around.

SEA employees make up roughly half of the full-time employees in the city.

"Our employees have experienced a prolonged recession that they've never recovered from," union spokesman Dustin DeRollo said.

Union officials said that cost of living has gone up 14.2 percent, and union employees have had one 3 percent increase over the same time period.

Employees are asking for a 20 percent raise through January 2019. Ten percent would be retroactive to July 2015, according to city officials.

City administrators are offering 10 percent through July 2018. City officials said they have to balance the demands for higher wages with city expenses.

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