With 90 Percent Vote, Workers Urge Solano County to Cease Illegal Behavior in Negotiations
Fairfield, CA – A week after the union representing nearly 1,800 Solano County workers filed Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges against the County, workers from Winters to Vallejo voted to authorize their Bargaining Team to call a strike. SEIU 1021 represents workers who provide vital community services across Solano, including social workers, infant nutrition counselors, mental health specialists, public health nurses, librarians, Child Support and Child Welfare specialists, public safety dispatchers, veterans’ services workers, and clerical staff.
The ballots were counted this evening at the SEIU 1021 union hall in Fairfield, and the results announced immediately to members. SEIU 1021 announced that 90 percent of the members voted to give their bargaining team the power to call an Unfair Labor Practice strike if necessary. A date for the ULP strike has not yet been set.
“This strike authorization vote sends a clear message that workers have had enough of the County’s refusal to meaningfully bargain over issues that matter to our communities,” said Nadeen Roach, an Eligibility Benefits Specialist, who has served the County’s residents for 20 years. “We’ve had enough of the County’s illegal behavior at the bargaining table.”
The vote followed the union’s Unfair Labor Practice charges with the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) against Solano County. For over three months the County negotiators have refused to engage in good faith negotiations and have rejected the union’s proposals without dialogue. The County has not had a representative with the authority to negotiate at the bargaining table, making it nearly impossible to reach an agreement by the 28th of September contract expiration.
“The County has refused to have dialogue on matters that impact the families we serve,” said Akbar Bibb, a social worker, bargaining team member, and SEIU 1021 Solano County Chapter President. “We’ve asked the County to do all that it can to ensure the safety of Child Welfare workers and the children they take into guardianship, but the County has flatly refused to consider that. Workers don’t want to strike but if we have to, we’ll do whatever it takes for the people who rely on us.”
A Solano County workers’ strike has been sanctioned by the Napa-Solano Labor Council, which represents over forty thousand working men and women in Napa and Solano Counties. In the event of a strike, the workers and unions united under the Labor Council have pledged support of striking workers.
SEIU Local 1021 represents over 54,000 workers throughout Northern California who make our cities, schools, counties and special districts a safe and healthy place to live in and raise families. SEIU 1021 members nurse our sick, educate our children, clean our schools, and care for our seniors and developmentally disabled.