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County Workers Approve 5 Day Strike

Some local services will be disrupted next week as nearly a Thousand Shasta County employees have voted to go on strike. UPEC is at an impasse in negotiations with the Board of Supervisors. The UPEC-represented employees have been working without a contract since last April when the previous contract expired. The primary point of contention is a Retiree Administrative Fee, a $26 deduction from each paycheck in the unit, even though it’s already been eliminated for the highest paid elected and appointed officials. The union also has complaints about worker safety, saying the county is ignoring dangers and not taking available precautions. Union spokesman Chris Darker says they’re dedicated employees and the strike is a last resort. The strike will run for 5 days unless the county comes to the table. ¬†Union members will picket in front of the County Administration Building on Court Street, and will hold a canned food drive to benefit Shasta Senior Nutrition. The striking workers include children’s services, mental health, health and human services, veterans services, and virtually all other employees who are not law enforcement, public works or administration. The county insists that they’ve bargained in good faith and they’ve successfully come to contract agreement with 7 of the county’s 8 bargaining units. County officials also say the strike will cause some inconvenience and delays, but all county offices will remain open.