Talks May Resume In County Garbage Strike

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Labor Day was the last time trash was picked up for some 150,000 Sacramento County residents. Since then, contract talks have been stalled over an issue that union spokesman Bill Kelly says their members are most concerned about. 

"Oh, health care is the most important issue to them."

Right now, garbage workers get 100% healthcare coverage. But Megan McPherson with the county says they need workers to take on more of the costs. 

"What the county is proposing is a gradual scaling down of the amount that the county pays so that the workers would pay 80% of their healthcare but that’s going to be implemented in 5% steps over the five year contract period."

But Kelly says that’s unacceptable. 

"The county is insisting on changing the formula that’s in the contract and our members have already given us a mandate that it must be maintained like it is."

While the strike continues, county officials say residents can take their garbage to the county landfill for free after 3 PM.