3,800 San Joaquin County employees are in labor talks with their contract set to expire at the end of the month and workers haven't ruled out a strike.
Dozens of Service Employees International Union members stood outside county buildings in downtown Stockton this week holding signs and demanding a contract. Social worker Laurie Crosby-Wilson says her last raise was three years ago, and her union deserves a cost of living increase.
“And it's not all about money, it's about takeaways and look at the overall commodities, in terms of gas going up, food’s going up, so why can't our salaries go up?” said Crosby-Wilson.
The county has seen property values decrease over the last few years, and Human Resources Director Cynthia Clays says it wants to tie increased property values to salary hikes.
“If we see growth, then we can share that. If there is no growth, then we're unable to give increases,” said Clays.
The same union represents Oakland city workers who voted last week to authorize a strike. Talks in San Joaquin County continue – but SEIU says it’s ready to strike if that’s what it takes.