County UPEC Workers Remain On Strike As Supervisors Are Set To Meet In Closed Session

Hundreds of striking Shasta County workers represented by UPEC might be going back to work this week, or they might not. The strike had been set to end Friday after two weeks of picketing, but the membership voted last week to extend the strike through at least Tuesday. During an evening meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the board will consider the establishment of an ad hoc committee to participate in labor negotiations, which would include two members of the board. It would be purely advisory and any final decision would have to be made by the full Board of Supervisors. The board will also meet in closed session Tuesday for negotiations with UPEC, as well as ten other unions representing county employees. UPEC Representative Steve Allen says the meeting will be well attended by union members expressing their grievances, saying that the offer given by the county would raise wages but the increase in employee contributions to benefits would result in a reduction of net take-home pay. He also claims there are more than 200 job vacancies in county government, making the job more difficult for existing employees.