County and SEIU reach tentative contract agreement

Workers looking for more wages, better health care terms

LABOR RALLY County workers have rallied outside San Benito County Board of Supervisor meetings in Hollister during labor negotiations, which started in July.
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The union representing hundreds of San Benito County employees and the county have reached a tentative agreement on wages and health care.

According to county officials, the county has reached tentative agreements with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521 which represents 270 county workers.

“We reached an agreement with the county, which has been ratified by our members,” said Suzy Caston, child support specialist and president of the SEIU Local 521 chapter for San Benito County.

SEIU workers were looking for wage increases and county health care contributions to offset increasing costs and continued holiday office closures established over the last few years. They’ve rallied county board meetings numerous times since negotiations began on July 11.

“While we still have a long journey ahead of us in addressing employee retention and recovery, this is a good step forward,” Caston said. “Our SEIU 521 members made clear that the work we do for our community matters, and after months of united efforts, the County Board of Supervisors heard us and worked with us towards reaching a contract that shows value towards the services we provide.”

All ratified contracts will be placed on the board’s regular meeting agenda some time in October for consideration and action.

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