Riverside County strikes new labor deal with county’s biggest union

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Thousands of public employees in Riverside County are back on the job, after a one-day walkout — but their differences with the county remain.

On the other hand, county leaders have reached a deal with Riverside’s biggest union.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America represents around 7,000 Riverside County workers. The county says the tentative four-year agreement will save taxpayers $60 million a year.

A Riverside County spokesman says the new contract asks workers to contribute 8 percent of their salaries toward their retirement plans. Board of Supervisors Chairman John Tavaglione says the agreement is an example what happens when both sides have realistic goals that consider the county's budget picture.

It’s not what’s happened with the county’s number two union, Service Employees International. It represents nearly 6,000 nurses, office clerks, social workers and other employees.

They staged a one-day strike Tuesday over a disputed labor contract that would require employees to contribute more to their pensions, while going without a cost of living raise. Both sides are scheduled to resume negotiations in March.

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