County of Santa Clara Files Unfair Practice Charge Over SEIU’s Unlawful Strike

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—The County of Santa Clara filed an unfair practice charge with the State of California Public Employment Relations Board alleging that the Service Employees International Union Local 521’s (SEIU) strike activities this week violated the law. It is unlawful for a labor union to strike before the union and the employer are at complete loggerheads and it is clear no deal can be reached. 

The County has engaged in extensive negotiations with SEIU over its contract for many months, and the County’s current offer of a 3% raise each year for the next five years remains on the table. The County is willing to further negotiate with SEIU, but SEIU has not been willing to engage in further good faith discussions with the County and has instead initiated strike activities at various County facilities over the last few days. The County’s unfair labor practice charge alleges that SEIU’s strike activities violate state labor laws, including that:

  • SEIU violated the law by failing to provide adequate notice of its strike activities;
  • SEIU is engaged in an unlawful “intermittent strike,” by striking at different County facilities on different days;
  • SEIU violated the law by striking before it became clear no deal could be reached (i.e., before formally reaching “impasse”); and
  • SEIU unlawfully refused to continue bargaining, canceled a bargaining session previously scheduled to take place during the strike, and refuses to return to the bargaining table unless the County acquiesces to its conditions. 

The unfair practice charge will now be considered by the California Public Employment Relations Board.

The County has been able to successfully continue operations at most County facilities in spite of the strike. On Friday, however, SEIU’s strike activity at the County’s Gilroy and East Valley Clinic locations blocked service delivery to patients in the County’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program which provides services to low-income women and children under 5 years of age. 

The County expects continued minimal disruption of services as strike activity continues.


*Unfair Practice Charge​​

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Media Contact: Laurel Anderson​, (408) 299-5119.

Posted: October 4, 2019


News Release


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