Union Coalition Calls Appointment of New Contra Costa County Administrator an ‘Act of Hositlity’

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to appoint Monica Nino as county administrator this month—but not before a large group of our union brothers and sisters expressed their opposition to the decision.

Across Contra Costa County, a coalition of unions representing more than 8,000 county workers—including our brothers and sisters from AFSCME Local 2700, AFSCME Local 512 and PEU/AFSCME Local 1—demanded that the Board of Supervisors rescind their decision to hire Nino, who previously served as the chief administrator for San Joaquin County.

The coalition also sent a letter to the board before their meeting, calling out the county for not making the selection process more transparent. The decision to hire Nino was made without input from the community or county workers.

Despite the numerous concerns raised about Nino’s anti-worker track record in San Joaquin County, the supervisors went ahead with hiring her.

That’s why our brothers and sisters in Contra Costa County felt it was necessary to let the public know the consequences of hiring someone who, in the past, has refused to support the essential public service workers who keep our communities running smoothly.

Throughout the public comment period of the Board of Supervisors meeting, members of union coalition—most prominently SEIU Local 1021 and AFSCME Local 2700—pointed to examples of Nino’s spotty relationship with unions in her previous positions.

Josh Anijar, executive director of the Contra Costa Central Labor Council, reminded the supervisors that the coalition of unions worked hard this year to have a peaceful relationship with the county.

The union coalition was shocked when they heard the announcement that Nino would be hired as county administrator, he said.

In San Joaquin County, Nino spent millions to hire temporary nurses to replace striking county nurses. She also used police officers to shut down protests at public meetings.

“The labor community did not expect a perfect candidate, but we fully expected the selection to include the values of transparency, fairness and consideration for the county’s workforce,” Anijar said. “The selection and the process of the appointment indicates that the county is diverting from our shared core values.”

Other speakers echoed Anijar’s comments. Stacie Hinton, vice president of AFSCME Local 2700, asked the board to rescind Nino’s job offer and choose someone else in a transparent hiring process that involves workers.

“We can’t help but perceive the choice of her being hired as an act of hostility and a clear signal that the board doesn’t desire to continue a genuine partnership with workers and the unions moving forward,” Hinton said.

To read the full letter that the union coalition sent to the county regarding Nino’s hiring, click here

Richmond Pulse's Edward Booth contributed to this report.