LA County Asks Workers to Return to the Table

County Workers Agree to Suspend Strike for Child Safety

A historic day of action at the LA County Board of Supervisors came to a close this evening with the announcement that children's social workers and eligibility workers represented by SEIU 721 will resume negotiations with LA County management. The request to resume bargaining came through a mediator enlisted by the County.

Additionally, striking social workers and eligibility workers have agreed to suspend their six-day-old work stoppage. Thousands of those workers, together with community and faith leaders, staged a day of civil disobedience in the name of child and family safety in downtown LA earlier today. Seven people, all chanting "Child Safety Now," were arrested at the end of the action. 

seiu_721_family_picnic_bob_80x80.jpg"Today the County got the message loud and clear," said SEIU 721 President Bob Schoonover. "When they saw the incredible solidarity of our members on the street, the Supervisors knew they had to act. And now I'm hopeful that we can work through the mediator to reach a settlement with the County."

Schoonover announced the resumption of talks during a rally at the LA County Dept. of Children and Family Services office in Compton. Children's social workers at the Compton office carry some of the highest caseloads in the County. In May 2013, an arbitrator directed the County to lower social worker-to-child ratios at the Compton office. The order went unheeded, and SEIU 721 filed a lawsuit to enforce it in November.

LA County children's social workers walked off the job on Thursday, Dec. 5. DPSS workers joined the strike lines on Dec. 9.

Both groups say they will return to the strike lines if this new round of bargaining doesn't produce a settlement that ensures the safety of children and families in the County social welfare system.

Children's social workers will return to the bargaining table on Wednesday afternoon. Eligibility workers will return later in the week.

9 Comments

Any update on how the bargaining table went on Wednesday afternoon???

The union has failed to represent supervisors, instead told us we have HR. So why do we pay dues? We need research based reform to force true safety reform, not politics.

And the County is asking for unlimited unchecked authority at DPSS to eliminate caseload protections for Eligibility Workers and assign them unlimited number of "assignments". EW's keep up your one word reply to the County... NEVER!!!

I was moved by the civil disobedience and the number of people that did not cross the picket line on Tuesday. I am disappointed by those who chose not to make the sacrifice. I have a slogan in mind...WE reap the BENEFITS because WE made the SACRIFICE : B.A.N. from Union activities : B#### A## N##### all of them.

I am proud to be a union member.

So proud to be represented by our mighty , mighty union.

We are suspending the strike without a contract? Could this be because the union does not want to use the 5 million strike fund to partially pay the workers on strike?

Correction: If you look at the site you will see that the Wateridge office has been the highest in caseload for over 1 year. CSW's at the Wateridge office have been as high as 60 cases.

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