SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — Hundreds of workers were on strike in San Mateo County with signs and umbrellas in hand Tuesday morning as more than 800 employees of the county’s human services agency walked the picket line.

It is the only county agency that didn’t approve of last month’s negotiations on a new three-year contract.

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The other 10 agencies ratified a four percent pay increase with the county’s board of supervisors.

“We are short staffed and we are down to bare bones. Workers are burned out and they’re leaving,” said social worker Daniella Tobey. “Makes it hard for us to provide the very necessary services to San Mateo County.”

“There are a lot of remaining issues on the table,” said John Tucker, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees Local 829.

“This county is expensive to live in. We understand that,” said San Mateo County spokesperson Michelle Durand. “So we’re trying to balance giving them fair and equitable compensation with something that’s fiscally responsible.”

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The county has reported that the David Lewis Community Reentry Center, the Shasta Clinic pharmacy and the East Palo Alto Clinic are closed due to the strike. There are also no mobile clinic services at the Fair Oaks Community Center on Tuesday and none at the Redwood City Caltrain station Tuesday and Wednesday.

The mobile clinic will continue to provide services to homeless shelters, however, and all offices of the Human Services Agency will remain open but providing “minimal services,” county officials said. The agency provides food and shelter assistance, foster child services and employment services, among other things.

The employees work with public assistance and employment programs.

The county hopes to keep essential services available, but says some of them might be closed.

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The strike is set to go on through Wednesday.