On Wednesday, Contra Costa County social workers and eligibility workers announced a one-day extension in their strike, protesting intimidation by County Executives. Workers announced last Friday that they had intended to strike for three days but are now preparing to enter an unprecedented five-day unfair labor practice (ULP) strike in Contra Costa.
Two of those picketing offered their concerns and reasons for participating in the strike.
“I am here today because we are fighting for the resources to serve the community and to have a safe working environment for employees,” said Vicky Dominguez, Medical Social Worker at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. “We want to be able to continue serving the community. To be able to have enough medical social workers at the hospital to help people with issues like domestic violence, child abuse, elderly individuals that need placement in skilled nursing facilities or assistance with mental health challenges and homeless individuals that need help with transition back to the community. These are things we deal with on a daily basis.”
“I have been with the County for 11 years,” said Sharon Taylor, Eligibility Worker with CalWorks. “It is not just related to our ULP, but there was $21 million lost because the county has not provided enough workers. I know as a worker myself of being overloaded, stressed out and clients are not getting their services like they need to and deserve to and that is what we’re striking about. It’s about the community and the people we serve, and that’s why we are out here.”
Nearly 1,000 of social workers and eligibility workers and their community supports are expected to continue picketing in front of the county Administration building at 651 Pine Street in Martinez, beginning Thursday at 9:00 a.m.