LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A strike by county social workers ended Tuesday afternoon, with the county asking union leaders to return to the bargaining table.
The news came after a day of protest outside a meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, in which seven striking workers were arrested in an act of planned civil disobedience.
Four women and three men were arrested after refusing to leave an area despite a warning from police that the rally's permit had expired, according to Officer Sara Faden of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations office.
Striking workers have said they will return to work if the county will put in writing a guarantee of smaller caseloads and additional hiring, with the goal of limiting the number of cases to a maximum of 30 per social worker.
The county has said they are not ready to put that in writing. An outside mediator was called in to bring the sides together Monday.
"At DCFS, our motto is, if it's not in writing, it didn't happen," union steward Michael Aguilera said.
Department of Children and Family Services Director Phillip Browning said additional social workers are being hired, with caseload sizes dropping below 30 per social worker by January and to the mid-20s by August.
An estimated 100 social workers have already been hired and another 150 set to undergo training in the New Year, county CEO William Fujioka said.
"We're ready to continue discussions," Fujioka told the board.
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