The State Worker

California state workers to start casting ballots on possible strike

Dennis Maxey, center, a Transbay Terminal worker from Oakland, joins Members of SEIU Local 1000, representing 95,000 state employees as they rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday, July, 1, 2009.
Dennis Maxey, center, a Transbay Terminal worker from Oakland, joins Members of SEIU Local 1000, representing 95,000 state employees as they rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday, July, 1, 2009. Sacramento Bee file, 2009.

A strike vote for members of California state government’s largest union is scheduled to begin next week, according to announcements from SEIU Local 1000.

The vote is scheduled to run from Monday, Oct. 31 to Friday, Nov. 11 at more than 50 different locations around the state. A list of polling sites is posted at seiu1000.org.

SEIU Local 1000 is trying to gain leverage in contract negotiations for the 95,000 workers it represents.

If workers authorize a strike, the union would not necessarily call for a walkout. SEIU Local 1000 in 2009 voted to strike, but its leadership ultimately did not call for one.

SEIU Local 1000 negotiates contracts for nine of state government’s 21 labor agreements. Fourteen state labor contracts expired July 1.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has offered SEIU Local 1000 a four-year agreement with raises of 3 percent each year. The offer also asks union members to begin paying a share of the health benefits they’ll use when they retire.

SEIU is seeking a larger raise, pointing to rising housing costs and the state’s steady economy to argue for a better deal.

Adam Ashton: 916-321-1063, @Adam_Ashton

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