On Tuesday, April 26, hundreds of union members marched to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Meeting demanding the Board address the staffing crisis and staff up Contra Costa County.
Union members rallied at the steps of the County Administration Building and were joined by community allies and leaders such as Lorena Gonzalez, former State Assemblywoman (San Diego) and the incoming Secretary-Treasurer of the California Labor Federation.
“We see in many cases, in the public sector in particular, individuals have one job but they’re actually doing the job of two or multiple people,” Lorena Gonzalez. “One person’s job should not be the job of two people and that’s what we’re seeing throughout Contra Costa County. Rather than being adequately staffed in public services in emergency situations, the government contracted work out that could’ve and should’ve been done by public sector workers had leaders built a workforce that could sustain tough times like a pandemic.”
“So the question is to you [Contra Costa Board of Supervisors], are ready to pay the proper wages to keep our positioned staff so that we can provide the essential services that this county deserves?”, said Richie Andaloza, Representative and chair of negotiations for Teamster 856. “The proposal that was passed was insulting. It’s not acceptable. We are here to tell you, “If we have to strike, we’re going to strike!”
In Contra Costa County, there are nearly 2,000 county job positions unfilled. With 1116 unfilled positions, the majority of vacancies are in the Health Services department. One of the departments hardest hit by vacancies is also tasked with addressing some of our county’s most pressing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vacancies have an undeniable impact on the quality and speedy delivery of services from County departments.
For more information, you can visit StaffUpContraCosta.org.
The Contra Costa County Employees are made up of 9 unions, representing over 6000 workers across the county. These workers are the ones who staff our public hospital, clinics, COVID test sites, as well as workers who maintain our streets, safeguard our environment, and keep our libraries and courts open. Teamsters Local 856 represents over 2,000 county employees making it the largest union in the coalition.
Thank you to everyone who came out and showed their support and all the Contra Costa County members who showed their strength and demanded better for our county.