Municipal strikes are rare in the United States. However, in California, they are now taking to the streets. One of the reasons is that the workload is screaming due to lack of staff.
Victory is already in. By threatening a three-day strike, city officials in San Jose, just south of San Francisco, have won a nearly 15 percent pay raise with the help of unions. That is, measured over a period of three years.
Terms of Employment
A week ago, more than 10,000 colleagues in Los Angeles lost their jobs. for one day. Garbage trucks didn’t leave, traffic controllers stayed home, and swimming pools were closed. There is turmoil on the labor front in America. Actors and writers went on strike months ago, and they are still on strike to enforce better working conditions, especially at film and television studios. It is said that trade unions are now growing like crazy.
A government strike is special. After all, government strikes are illegal in most states – 39 out of 50. Even in the few states where it is legal, several conditions must be met in advance. Those duties can range from arbitration to fact-finding.
The last wave of strikes was under President Reagan more than forty years ago. It is because of sky-high inflation that more government employees are now resorting to strike action. Especially post-corona, wage growth in the public sector has lagged behind that of the private sector. Increasing workload is another breeding ground. In a tight labor market, local governments in particular face the greatest difficulty in finding workers. Employee turnover is twice the average of recent decades. In some places more than a quarter. One reason is that many baby boomers are retiring en masse. Another reason is that people pay less than the market sector. This creates additional difficulties for municipalities and provinces in getting staff.
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