Rank-and-file members of state government's largest public employees union have authorized their representatives to call a strike if contract talks break down in their ongoing negotiations with the Schwarzenegger administration.
Service Employees International Union Local 1000 spokesman Danny Beagle said Monday that 85 percent of the members who voted gave their approval to call a strike, which would be the first of its kind in state history.
The SEIU website announces:
Outstanding issues include wages, the governor’s demand for increased employee health care contributions, and the union’s proposal for equity adjustments for workers whose pay has fallen far behind workers in comparable public and private sector jobs.
The most recent contract between SEIU Local 1000 and the state expired on June 30, 2005. Members last received a wage increase on July 1, 2003. Since that time, the cost of living has increased by up to 11 percent.
Strike ballots were mailed last month to all 87,000 state employees represented by Local 1000. Voting took place by return mail, and at scores of strike vote meetings in cities and communities around the state. Ballots were counted on Sunday, June 11.