Starting on Tuesday, approximately 1,500 County of San Luis Obispo employees are set to strike for the first time in our county’s history. Chances are services will be interrupted during this period. Though San Luis Obispo County Employees’ Association (SLOCEA) and county officials struck an agreement to keep some employees in place to maintain essential county services, there are plans in place to either close or scale back services.

Starting on Tuesday, approximately 1,500 County of San Luis Obispo employees are set to strike for the first time in our county’s history. Chances are services will be interrupted during this period. Though San Luis Obispo County Employees’ Association (SLOCEA) and county officials struck an agreement to keep some employees in place to maintain essential county services, there are plans in place to either close or scale back services.

Here are the affected County services (as of Monday, Dec. 10):

  • All 15 County library branches will be closed from Dec. 11-13.
  • All County youth services, including Atascadero Youth Services, SLO Youth Services and South County Youth Services, will be by appointment only.
  • Youth Mental Health clinics, Martha’s Place and SAFE will be closed unless enough staff are present.
  • Therapeutic Learning Classrooms school-based services will be unavailable unless staff are present.
  • School and community-based services by Behavior Health will be canceled as necessary.
  • Substance Use Disorder drug and alcohol clinics will be open with reduced hours in Grover Beach, Johnson Avenue, Atascadero and Paso Robles from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with closure for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Click here for more information.
  • County Airport business offices will close, no flights should be affected.

SLOCEA members consist of employees in nearly every department providing services to residents countywide, so all departments will be impacted by the strike.

Residents are being encouraged to contact departments of interest to determine what services are available. The list above is subject to change.

Union representatives for SLOCEA informed county officials in November that the strike will move forward until the county Board of Supervisors agrees to meet demands, including a 2.5 percent wage increase for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Similar to private sector economic trends, county employees across SLO County have long complained about stagnating wages, which haven’t increased proportionally to inflated living costs. According to SLOCEA General Manager Pat McNamara, two independent reports suggested a 3 percent salary increase to meet the standard costs for living.

The County has expressed a willingness to renegotiate the fiscal year 2020 contract, but Chief Administrative Officer Wade Horton told The Tribune in a phone interview that “wages and benefits have have already been resolved” for the contract that’s now being disputed.

Aaron Ochs is a columnist, marketing entrepreneur and founder of SLO Truth. Ochs is also involved in his community as founder of Save Morro Bay (www.savemorrobay.com).

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