- Reporters Desk
LOS ANGELES — On Feb. 12, more than 55,000 LA County workers represented by SEIU Local 721 just voted to approve a visionary new labor agreement with LA County management.
Tens of thousands of LA County workers voted by a huge margin — more than 95 percent —to approve the contract. Voting started three weeks ago and ended at 5 p.m. Feb. 12.
SEIU 721 members and county management reached the agreement in late January 2014 after marathon negotiations and a successful six-day strike waged by thousands of Children’s Social Workers and Dept. of Public Social Services workers, demanding that child safety be a top priority for County leadership. The contract covers LA County nurses and healthcare workers, social workers, eligibility workers, parks recreation workers, public works crews, janitors and others who dedicate their lives to public service.
Here’s a brief summary of what SEIU 721 LA County members achieved in this contract.
Reforms to benefit children:
o The County will hire 450 additional Social Workers by Oct. 1, 2014.
o Social Worker caseloads will be reduced based on the hiring plan.
o Training and education will be improved and Social Workers will be given more flexibility to do their jobs.
· Rideshare expansion: The County will contribute an additional $200,000 per year in Rideshare subsidies to encourage carpooling and public transportation use, making for a greener County.
· Income Security: County workers, who haven’t received a raise in five years, will get a 6 percent salary increase within 12 months and maintain quality healthcare coverage.