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Substantial City Service Interruptions Expected During Sea Strike

SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sunnyvale residents should expect substantial City service interruptions as a result of a strike planned for Monday, May 1, by the Sunnyvale Employees Association (SEA) after a meeting between SEA leaders and the City yesterday failed to result in a tentative agreement. Residents are advised to refer to the City's website at Sunnyvale.ca.gov for updates.

During a strike, police, fire, dispatcher and EMT services will not be impacted; garbage collection also will not be interrupted. But many other services will not be available or limited to weekend-level staffing. Services at the Library, Community Center and Senior Center will be limited for the duration of the strike. There will be no counter service for City departments, including the City's One-Stop Permit Center. Regular road-service crews will not be in service, but emergency crews will be on stand-by and be available on an as-needed basis.

"We're obviously disappointed that we could not reach an agreement and will do everything we can to maintain essential services," stated Sunnyvale Mayor Glenn Hendricks. "We have a fair and reasonable offer on the table that balances fiscal responsibility and competitive wages, in the face of needing to absorb $300 million in new CalPERS costs."

The City met with SEA yesterday and the City offered a one-time signing bonus worth an average of nearly $6,000 per employee plus a revenue based bonus on top of the City's last, best and final offer.  The City's last, best and final offer to the SEA includes a 10 percent wage hike during the next 15 months, the continuation of a 30 percent employee pension contribution and maintaining full health benefits. The City's latest offer is on the City's website, along with fact-finding documents and previous press releases for additional background.

The SEA is demanding a 17 percent wage hike that would cost $82 million more than the City proposal and likely result in layoffs and service cutbacks. This is on top of a $300 million hit to the City's budget to pay for reforms to the CalPERS pension system. The combined effect of these increased costs would severely impact City services and result in employee layoffs. Like many other California cities, Sunnyvale is expecting additional CalPERS reforms with steep costs to city budgets. Even without the City's offer, SEA members already average more than $100,000 in wages and benefits, placing them at or above market average when compared to similar workers in neighboring communities.

The SEA represents a broad range of workers, including a number who play key roles in maintaining public health and safety. SEA employees deemed essential, such as wastewater treatment plant supervisors, water quality control chemists and public safety records specialists, will be reporting to work.

Jennifer Garnett
Media cell:  408-718-2601
Release # 04 05 17


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