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Planned strike by Santa Cruz County workers averted in last-ditch negotiations

By Chris Hagel

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    SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, California (KSBW) — A strike planned for Jan. 25 by Santa Cruz County workers has been averted. A tentative deal was reached late Monday night between the Service Employees International Union Local 521 and the County of Santa Cruz.

This deal came after nearly eight months of negotiations including an all day, last-ditch effort on Monday to avert the strike planned the next day.

The three-year agreement includes 3% wage increases each year and $1,250 in pandemic/hazard pay bonuses for more than 1,600 workers.

SEIU Local 521 Santa Cruz County President and Social Worker Veronica Velazquez said in a statement: “We strongly believe this agreement is an important step towards meeting the critical recovery needs of our community and workers. This agreement invests in the services that our community needs and relies on, and sets a framework to attract and retain dedicated essential county workers. Our partnership with management ensures the County of Santa Cruz can be the best place to live, work and thrive with our families.”

The tentative agreement will now be voted on by the SEIU 521 members in the coming week, then go to ratification by the County Board of Supervisors.

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