SEIU 1021

Mendocino County workers flood Board of Supervisors budget hearings, demanding they prioritize services & people


On Tuesday June 6, 2023, dozens of SEIU 1021 Mendocino County chapter members confronted the Board of Supervisors during their budget hearings. They demanded that the Board prioritize people and services in its upcoming budget.

Mendocino County administrators and the Board are claiming in negotiations not to be able to afford to shore up essential services for county residents — but county workers know better. County workers are not accepting the County’s excuses for why it claims to be able to do nothing to staunch the exodus of county employees leaving for better-paid positions in neighboring counties, municipalities, and the private sector.

“We had hoped that after last year’s fiasco, our county government would have had the foresight to prioritize a healthy COLA and equity adjustments for positions that are severely underpaid and hard to keep staffed in their budget for the next fiscal year,” said SEIU 1021 Mendocino County Chapter President Julie Beardsley, a senior public health analyst for the county. “Instead, they appear ready to throw us under the bus once again, crying poverty while they leave revenues uncollected and underestimate those they are bringing in as usual. Budgets are a reflection of values. If the County wants to show that it values its residents, it needs to prioritize competitive wages and benefits for its workforce to ensure continuity of the services residents depend on.”

Among the critical staffing shortages jeopardizing the health, safety, and well-being of county residents, including the most vulnerable, are

  •  Nearly 40% vacancy rate in Family & Children’s Services — putting at-risk kids in danger
  • 44% vacancy rate in Department of Transportation road crews, meaning our roads don’t get paved or repaired in a timely manner
  • 70% vacancy rate for mental health clinicians