California’s largest public employee union calls off strike – Los Angeles Times

A union representing some 95,000 state workers has called off plans for a one-day strike, saying that it has “found a pathway forward” in contract negotiations with the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown.

The announcement on Friday afternoon by SEIU Local 1000 averted what was shaping up to be a test of wills between state officials — who warned that its members are subject to a no-strike clause — and the politically powerful union.

A spokesman for the union declined to offer any additional details beyond a brief statement from Yvonne Walker, the union’s president.

“After weeks of preparing for a strike, we have been in conversations with the state, and we both feel we have found a pathway forward,” she said. “Our goal has never been to go on strike. It has always been to get a contract we can all be proud of.”

The union and state negotiators have been at the bargaining table for almost eight months, with both a pay raise and the size of worker healthcare contributions as key sticking points.

SEIU Local 1000 officials announced last month that a sizeable number of its members, from clerical workers to nurses, had approved a strike.

“We are pleased that the public will not have to face disruptions to state services on Monday,” said state Department of Human Resources spokesman Joe DeAnda. “We will continue to work with union leaders to finalize a formal agreement.”

Update 4:05 p.m.: This story was updated with a statement from the state Department of Human Resources.

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