“County workers are struggling to survive here,” said Joel Evans-Fudem, who works in Sonoma County’s child protective services department and serves as the SEIU 1021 Sonoma County Chapter president. “The fires have affected us all, but that didn’t stop us from leaping into action to help during the disaster. It’s shameful that the County has not recognized that the workers responsible for helping people get back on their feet are struggling.”
Sonoma County workers have been urging County Administrators and Executives to focus on recovery efforts after the fires. That’s why a coalition of more than 4,000 county workers and their unions have called on the Board of Supervisors for a 1-year contract extension. However, with the County’s rejection of the workers’ proposal, County Administrators and Executives have made it clear that they don’t share in workers’ priority of fire recovery efforts.
As part of their commitment to the community, County workers are united in stopping layoffs of mental health workers, whose services have been in high demand since the October 2017 fires that devastated Sonoma County residents. County workers are also fighting back against chronic understaffing in departments that provide critical services to the public, in addition to the high cost of healthcare and wages that fail to keep up with the rising cost of living in the area.