Two days after a historic strike shut many services in the City of Santa Cruz, causing trash and recycling to begin piling up, Service Employees International Union Local 521 has reached a tentative agreement with the City.
Under the agreement, employees will get a 12% raise over three years and an $1,800 payment, as well as pay increases that bring many positions closer to market rate.
It also includes a “furlough moratorium” for that three-year duration, the union says, referring to the 10% furlough members agreed to in 2008 and 2020.
A majority of union members rejected a previous offer by the City of a 12% increase and a $1,100 payment.
“We strongly believe this settlement will begin to address our demands of bringing city positions up to meet market comparison, with additional commitments by the City to continue meeting to bring other classifications up to parity,” Chapter President Ken Bare said. “The support from our community was incredible, Santa Cruz City workers were strong and resilient, and their sacrifice to strike was historic. We will finally get the respect and dignity we fought for and deserve.”
Santa Cruz City Manager Matt Huffaker did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Wednesday.