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Indybay Feature

SEIU Strike to Impact City Services in Santa Cruz

by Strike!
City of Santa Cruz workers represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521 are scheduled to begin an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) Strike starting Monday, October 17, at city hall. The ULP Strike will continue Tuesday, October 18 through Friday, October 21 at various locations, including city hall, wastewater treatment plant, water treatment plant, and corporation yard. Union leaders will hold a press conference at Santa Cruz City Hall on Monday, October 17 at 9 AM, and the public is invited to join the picket line there from 7 AM to 5 PM. An information flyer distributed by union members has identified Mayor Sonja Brunner, Vice-Mayor Martine Watkins, and Councilmembers Renee Golder, Shebreh Kalantari Johnson, and Donna Meyers as engaging in Unfair Labor Practices and for "refusing to fund frontline services."
Union members rejected a Tentative Agreement (TA) made between labor negotiators and the City of Santa Cruz on October 2, which would have provided a one-time essential worker bonus of $1,100 as well as raises totaling 12%, with 4.5% in the first year.

"The membership voted, and made clear the City’s offer and TA did not go far enough to support the needs of frontline city workers," SEIU Local 521 stated on social media.

The city has announced that essential services such as police, fire, water, and sewer will remain unchanged, however the strike will have "significant impacts" on other services.

Impacted services to include:

* There will be no refuse or food scrap pick-up, and both the landfill and recycling center will be closed.
* All library facilities except the Capitola Branch Library and the Scotts Valley Branch library will be closed until Sat, Oct 22. Capitola and Scotts Valley libraries will have limited hours: Mon-Thurs 10:00am - 6:00pm, and Fri 10:00am - 5:00pm. All library programs are cancelled except storytimes at Scotts Valley and Capitola - call to confirm day and time. Library partner organizations may have programs that take place after-hours - please contact the specific organization to confirm.
* Many City parks will be closed, and many recreation programs cancelled - please check the Parks and Recreation webpage.
* Most City service counters will be closed and phone lines will go to automated messages, with the exception of Planning and Community Development.

Updates on service impacts can be found on the city's website:

Service Employees International Union, Local 521 represents 60,000 public-and nonprofit, private-sector workers in California’s Bay Area, the Central Coast, and the Central Valley.

Protect Santa Cruz City Workers Who Protect Essential Public Services! Add your name in solidarity:
by Strike!
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