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September 3, 2013 > County and labor union reach agreement

County and labor union reach agreement

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell

The County of Santa Clara and Service Employees International Union Local 521 announced August 30, 2013 that they reached a Tentative Agreement which was approved by 85 percent of the union membership.

Highlights of the two-year agreement:

Workers will increase their contributions toward retiree health care costs $10 per pay period or $260 annually to strengthen the plan's sustainability, bringing in about $2.1 million annually.

New workers will have to work for a minimum of 15 years to qualify for retiree health benefit. A worker hired yesterday would have had to work for 10 years to be eligible for the benefit.

To prepare for health care reform, the county will collaborate with SEIU 521 to form unit based teams across the county's health & hospital system, ensuring frontline workers have direct input on the quality improvements affecting patient care.

Employees will share the cost of health premiums.

To address recruitment and retention issues, two lower steps of the salary schedule will be removed. This will directly help the county become competitive in developing a cutting edge workforce.

Members will receive a 2% annualized wage increase in the first year (which is implemented at 4% for a six month period effective December 23, 2013 and is decreased to 2% effective June 22, 2014) and a 3% wage increase in the second year.

The Agreement will go the Board of Supervisors for approval on September 10, 2013.

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