COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo is preparing for some employees to strike as early as December, but officials say that essential public safety and health services will continue.
The County’s largest employee union, San Luis Obispo County Employees’ Association (SLOCEA), notified the County on Nov. 16 that it plans to strike unless the County meets its demands.
“We have talented employees who provide important services to our community. We’re disappointed that SLOCEA members voted to strike rather than accept the two-year proposal the County offered earlier this year, and we look forward to getting back to the negotiation table with them early next year,” said Wade Horton, County Administrative Officer.
SLOCEA represents approximately 1,775 of the County’s 2,800 employees. Certain employees can’t participate in a strike, specifically SLOCEA-represented employees who perform services that, if brought to a halt by the threatened strike, would cause a substantial or imminent risk to public health and safety. County officials are preparing for the strike to assure continued delivery of these essential public safety and health services during a strike.
On Nov. 16, SLOCEA demanded that the County renegotiate the terms that were already imposed for fiscal year (FY) 2018-19. The threat of a strike comes after months of negotiations between the County and SLOCEA representatives led to an impasse, and after the County and SLOCEA representatives tentatively reached a two-year deal that included increases in salaries and benefits.
“Our offer remains open to meet early and negotiate over FY 2019-20 wages,” Horton said. “Our goal is to provide excellent public services in a way that is fiscally sustainable. Should SLOCEA proceed with a strike, employees will be treated fairly as we look ahead to working together to restore labor peace.”