Thousands of workers to vote on 3-day strike in San Jose

Thousands of frontline workers in San Jose are set to vote Tuesday on the approval of a potential strike as two unions representing city workers host in-person voting to authorize a three-day strike.

Voting will last all week. 

The call for the strike comes as a response to the issue of short staffing within the City of San Jose. The bargaining teams of the two unions are urging the workers to vote in favor of the strike.

The contracts representing more than 4,500 city workers expired on Sunday after months of negotiations between the unions and the city. 

Among the affected workers are librarians, emergency dispatchers, planners, animal shelter technicians and veterinarians, engineers, airport staff, water maintenance staff, architects, and others.

According to the union leaders, the city is facing a severe recruitment and retention crisis, resulting in deteriorating public service outcomes. Despite the city's growth, its services are struggling to keep up with the demands.

In response to the situation, Mayor Matt Mahan issued a statement expressing commitment to negotiate a fair deal for both workers and residents reliant on the essential services provided by the city. However, he pointed out the financial constraints, stating that any additional spending beyond their last, best, and final offer of a 5% raise plus increased paid parental leave would require identifying which core city services to cut.

Voting booths will be available outside the Police Department and City Hall for workers to cast their ballots. Union representatives will be available for comment on their expectations for the upcoming strike.