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Children’s Services, Social Workers Reach Pact

A union representing nearly 1,600 Los Angeles County children’s services and social workers, who were set to walk off their jobs today in protest of heavy caseloads and low pay offers, reached a tentative contract settlement with the county Monday.

The tentative agreement averted the planned one-day strike by members of Service Employees International Union Local 535, a union spokeswoman said.

It was the fifth wage and fringe benefit pact reached by the county in the last four days.

Local 535 spokeswoman Teresa Conrow said the settlement will be voted on by the union’s membership in about a week.

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On Saturday, the 1,900-member Los Angeles County Fire Fighters Local 1014 also came to terms. That settlement followed by less than a day agreements between the county and three other unions, representing sheriff’s deputies, doctors and security officers.

The five settlements cover about 10,000 of the county’s 71,000 employees, but some labor negotiators have predicted that the county will reach agreement with most of the remaining 16 unions before next Monday’s contract extension deadlines arrive.

The big question surrounds Service Employees International Union’s Local 660, which represents about 40,000 county workers. Members gave the union leadership authority last Thursday to call a strike if its contract dispute with the county is not resolved by midnight next Monday.


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