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California’s Largest Public Employee Union Sets Strike Date

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s largest public employee union says it has given notice to strike on December 5 in response to stalled contract talks with the state.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1000 says its action comes because of the state’s failure to move on its opening proposal on salary and benefits after more than seven months.

The union representing about 95,000 employees announced last week that 92 percent of members voted to strike.

The state has offered a nearly 12 percent salary increase over four years, but SEIU officials say the 3 percent annual raises would be offset by a 3.5 percent employee contribution to retirees’ health care.

The union contends the state can afford more and has failed to address the gender wage gap. Two-thirds of its members are women.