IFPTE Local 21 Announces Landmark Agreement to Provide Relief from Healthcare Crisis in Contra Costa County
MARTINEZ, Calif., Nov. 30, 2018
MARTINEZ, Calif., Nov. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- IFPTE Local 21, a union representing 11,000 public sector professionals in the Bay Area, announced that members have ratified a three-year contract that would provide healthcare relief and the ability to recruit and retain critical Contra Costa County workers.
In April Local 21 and 8 other unions formed a Healthcare Coalition to protest the unreasonable healthcare premiums that employees were paying for coverage. Contra Costa County workers are paying more than double what their counterparts in San Francisco pay for family coverage, and triple that of city workers in Oakland, with key family plan premiums approaching $1,000 per month for employees. Because of these prohibitive costs, County Departments are suffering from major retention and recruitment issues. There is significant turnover and short staffing throughout the Library system, in Animal Services, among social workers, doctors, public health professionals, IT workers, and more.
The 9 Union Healthcare Coalition won an agreement that will set the County on a better path. The County will pay a fairer percentage of health premiums moving forward, increasing each year of the Agreement. The County will also cover 100% of the scheduled premium increases for 2019, and workers have won a new healthcare structure that will level the playing field and allow for new providers to enter the market in 2020.
The deal comes after thousands of county workers rose up and engaged in solidarity pickets at a dozen County worksites, rallied and made public comments at the monthly Board meetings, placed hundreds of phone calls to the Board of Supervisors' offices, collected more than 2,000 employee petition signatures, and shared hundreds of stories of hardship, all of which created the pressure and leverage needed to come to an Agreement with the County.
Marc Miyashiro, an IT worker for Contra Costa County Health Services, says "This is what unions are all about - workers coming together to make positive, just change. We came to public service because we wanted meaningful jobs that serve our communities. But we can't hold onto workers who are charged with providing those services, because workers can't afford to work here and pay for healthcare for our families. That was unacceptable, for workers and for the public. So we said with one voice: enough is enough! This contract will strengthen our ability to serve the public and live in our community."
SOURCE IFPTE Local 21