SLO County libraries and some mental health services to close for employees union strike

December 10, 2018

All 15 branches of San Luis Obispo County public libraries will close Tuesday through Thursday, while multiple mental health services will also shut their doors or cut their hours of operation as the county’s primary employees union is expected to strike. [Cal Coast Times]

Members of the San Luis Obispo County Employees’ Association (SLOCEA) have been preparing to strike this week in response to the county not meeting its demand of 2.5 percent salary increases. The county offered .5 percent raises effective July 2018, followed by 2 percent raises effective July 2019.

SLO County officials and SLOCEA have reached an agreement that the strike will take place between this Tuesday and Friday, and about 160 essential employees will sit out the work stoppage in order to protect public health and safety. SLOCEA represents approximately 1,775 of the county’s 2,800 employees, so about 1,500 workers could go on strike beginning Tuesday.

County Director of Libraries Chris Barnickel said the library closures are necessary because he does not know who will be on strike at what time. Barnickel said it is hard to open a building if you do not have staff there.

In addition to library closures, Youth Mental Health clinics, Martha’s Place and SAFE will close unless enough staffers show up to work. The school-based services provided by Therapeutic Learning Classrooms likewise will not be offered unless staffers show up.

Meanwhile, Atascadero, SLO and South County youth services will operate by appointment only. Behavioral Health will cancel school and community-based services as necessary.

Drug and alcohol abuse clinics will remain open in Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo, Atascadero and Paso Robles, but with reduced hours. The clinics will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a closure for lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

The county airport business offices will close Tuesday through Thursday, but the closure should not affect any flights.


Showing up and waiting And resting for 8 hours to go by so they can go home and work does not constitute working in my book


The group striking is the “rank & file” Not the Managers, assistant managers, the Sheriff and deputies, Those management persons have had several real raises over the years (including back when the county was struggling to make ends meet. This group of rank & file employees on strike were forced to take at least 2 pay cuts when the housing market and stock market collapsed. This group was also the last to get the pay cuts restored. The last pay raise they received was structured in such a way that their paycheck went DOWN! to help pay for the increase in healthcare costs. The county could claim a pay raise, but the bottom line was a thinner paycheck.

Meantime the “elite” county staff that have gym privileges, parking privileges, etc keep getting raises. The majority of the county employees that work in downtown SLO have to feed the city parking meters or pay parking passes. Very few live where public transportation actually works.

The really sad part is that the new hires, although they have a “good” job, often have to resort to welfare or food stamps to supplement their income.

They deserve the pay raise that they were often promised, but never received


Problem with your argument – your bosses have advanced or perceived advanced marketable skills that demand higher pay/perks. As stated previously your pay is based on what you bring to the table. You want higher pay – aspire for more.


That’s for the city which is quite a bit worse than the county thanks to our public safety thieves. Here is the county:

Jorge Estrada

Give them their pay raises, discontinue peers and provide a 401K incentive like the real world. The public benefit can’t afford to sacrifice infrastructure for both better pay and pensions.


The military pay for Tri Care as well a co Pay. From 1942 until 1980 they kept telling us we are keeping your pay low because you will still be young enough to work after you retire from the military and you and your family will be covered for all medical needs. Not only did they break this promise our pay was so low we get very little SS.


Let them get the same treatment that military members,federal civil service,and social security get. One and half percent below the rate of inflation and also pay for their own insurance which does not include eye and dental.


The county employees pay for half of their health care insurance and 100% of the cost when they retire. Military personnel get Tri Care paid for by the Government as part of their benefit package. 25 years in the National Guard gets you Tri Care insurance to 65. When Medicare kicks in Tri Care provides the supplemental insurance.


I can’t really feel to sorry for them. I just opened up my Christmas Greetings from the Social Service Administration who were so happy to inform me that I will be getting a $40 a month raise this year. So while all of the folks in SLO are crying the blues and hoping for more benefits, raises and retirement increases I hope that they realize that they are putting the folks on a fixed income further into the hole. I only wish that there were another Ronald Reagan around who would do the right thing. But if you do feel sorry for them and think I’m off course just go to California Transparent on the internet and you will see how bad they have it especially if you don’t have one of these government jobs.


Take the opportunity to rid the county of any employees who strikes by handing them their termination papers when they walk out the door. There are plenty of others who would be willing to take the open jobs and at a reasonable salary and likely they would understand raises are given because the quality of work one is doing warrants it not just because an employee is “demanding” a rise just because.