Local 1000 members authorize strike
Good faith bargaining, gender pay equity at stake
Following on the heels of a CalHR report that raised the alarm on gender pay equity in California State employment, members of SEIU Local 1000, the largest state union representing 95,000 state workers, have voted with an overwhelming 92% ‘Yes’ vote to authorize any and all concerted actions, up to and including a strike, in support of contract negotiations.
Local 1000 has been bargaining in good faith for a contract with the state since April 2016. Although both parties have reached tentative agreement on many items, the state has inexplicably failed to budge from its opening proposal regarding wages for state workers.
The state has also failed to provide any response to the communicated concerns of the union regarding:
- The Oct. 2016 CalHR report on gender pay inequities in state employment
- The state’s unilateral approach to civil service reform
- The state’s unilateral change during active bargaining in the required methodology for calculating health care cost-sharing, which will result in a shift of $20 million in health care costs to state employees
“Both sides must negotiate in good faith,” said Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker. “Local 1000 has been and will continue to negotiate in good faith. When the state’s conduct doesn’t meet this standard, it is our duty and responsibility to hold them accountable.”
California is now the sixth largest economy in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund, and has a projected $11.5 billion reserve, according to the Legislative Analyst Office’s 2016-2017 budget projection.
Yet state workers who provide valuable services to all California families still face gender pay inequity.
- Local 1000 members are predominately women (66%), yet are paid 19% less than the average for all rank-and-file state employees.
- The state has made deals with male-dominated state employee groups that include wages 43% higher than Local 1000 members.
- A staggering 39% of Local 1000 members cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in the county they live in.
- In most parts of the state, Local 1000 members cannot afford childcare.
“Now more than ever, California must be a beacon of good faith and equity,” said Walker. “Local 1000 members provide valuable services to all Californians each day. The state’s ‘take it or leave it’ approach to bargaining and other objectionable conduct away from the table undermines the bargaining process, and only serves to widen the gender pay gap for California families.”
Bargaining is scheduled to resume today, Nov. 15 and Thursday, Nov. 17. Additional dates are scheduled for later in November.