San Jose leaders reached an agreement with the city’s largest public employee unions ahead of a strike that was set to take place Tuesday, Aug. 15. The pact narrowly avoided what would have been the city’s largest employee walkout since 1981.
The San Jose City Council has agreed to give thousands of workers a 14.5% raise over the next three years, beginning with a 6% increase this year.
But the city cannot afford those raises, according to San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan. He warned the settlement would necessitate cuts to city services. The city manager will present a set of proposed cuts at a meeting on Sept. 12.
“Our council did not do its job,” Mayor Mahan said. “Our leaders were elected to represent the people and the needs of the people took a backseat. We could have come up with a deal that was fair to everyone – our workers and our residents. But politics as usual triumphed over common sense and now our most vulnerable residents will be paying the price.”