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County Workers Continue To Strike

A local union has sat down with county negotiators, but a strike of nearly a Thousand Shasta County employees will continue through Friday as planned. The UPEC-represented employees have been working without a contract since last April when the previous contract expired. The primary point of contention is a retiree administrative fee, a $26 deduction from each paycheck in the unit, even though it’s already been negotiated out of the contracts for other county units. The union also has complaints about worker safety, saying some of their members face violent hostility, particularly those who work in children’s services or with the mentally ill. Union members have been picketing all week in front of the County Administration Building on Court Street. On Tuesday they packed the Board of Supervisors meeting demanding attention but were displeased with the answers they got. UPEC Spokesman Chris Darker says negotiators from both sides had a positive discussion Wednesday that they hope will lead to a settlement. The striking workers include virtually all employees who are not law enforcement, public works or administration. The county says they’ve successfully come to contract agreements with 7 of the county’s 8 bargaining units.