Union Update, Local 1000’s weekly newsletter, provides members with the latest union news including organizing and enforcement victories, political activities, union campaigns, member profiles and special events. Union Update is distributed at worksites every Wednesday and is also available for download on our website.
Republicans are proposing to repeal healthcare and gut Medicaid, a scary proposition for Rita Lewis, a public health nurse and member of our union.
When she was in nursing school, she relied on Medicaid to cover the prenatal care and deliveries of her two children and worries for the countless patients she’s cared for in her 25 years of nursing, “I know firsthand that seniors, children, veterans, and individuals with disabilities could not gain a foothold on a healthy life without it.”
As a reflection of her unwavering commitment to gender equality and economic justice, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG) has appointed SEIU Local 1000 Vice President for Organizing/Representation Tamekia N. Robinson to the California Pay Equity Task Force.
Bargaining with the state is set to begin on April 13th. Our bargaining team is preparing for negotiations, supported by Local 1000’s Research, Field and Contract Departments, to gather input from members, organize worksite meetings and actions, set priorities, craft language and develop strategies to put pressure on the state to take the union’s demands seriously.
The team is made up of elected members from each of the nine bargaining units Local 1000 represents.
Shirley Chisholm (November 30, 1924-January 1, 2005) was an early education teacher from Brooklyn who, in 1968, became the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress. She went on in 1972 to become the first major party candidate for President of the United States and the first woman ever to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
Berta Cáceres (March 4, 1971-March 3, 2016) was a Honduran environmental activist and leader of the indigenous Lenca people there. She led a decade long internationally-waged battle to stop a dam being built on the Gualcarque River, a body of water which is sacred to the Lenca.
Negotiations for our 2016 contract begin in April, and Local 1000’s 63-member bargaining team is in place and deep in preparations, training and strategizing to bring the 95,000 state workers we represent the best contract we’ve ever had.
The bargaining team represents the union at the negotiating table and is made up of members from the nine bargaining units represented by Local 1000. Issues that affect all represented employees such as pay, benefits and retirement are negotiated at the master table while each of the nine bargaining teams negotiate unit specific issues.
Fannie Lou Hamer (October 6, 1917—March 14, 1977) grew up poor as a sharecropper in Mississippi, but she went on to be one of the most inspirational leaders of the Civil Rights Era whose fierce activism on behalf of voting rights inspired generations of activists.
All employees accumulate two Professional Development Days (PDD) during each fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Those days are separate from any other provision afforded under the contract. PDD days are to be used at the employee’s discretion and are to be requested and approved in the same manner as vacation and annual leave. For more information, see Article 13 of your contract.
The Local 1000 contract expires on July 1, and the entire union is mobilizing, gathering resources and building member power. We begin negotiating with the state in April, so our 63-member bargaining team is in place and deep in preparations, training and strategizing to bring the 95,000 state workers we represent the best contract we’ve ever had.
Frances Perkins, (April 10, 1880- May 14, 1965) became the first woman in the nation to serve in a Presidential cabinet, being named Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor in 1933 and serving until 1945. She was the principal architect of key New Deal programs including Social Security, unemployment insurance, laws regulating child labor, a federal minimum wage, and the 40-hour workweek.
Negotiations for our 2016 contract begin in April, and Local 1000’s 63-member bargaining team is in place and deep in preparations, training and strategizing to bring the 95,000 state workers we represent the best contract we’ve ever had.
The bargaining team represents the union at the negotiating table and is made up of members from the nine bargaining units represented by Local 1000. Issues that affect all represented employees such as pay, benefits and retirement are negotiated at the master table while each of the nine bargaining teams negotiate unit-specific issues.
Local 1000 members, stewards and staff are working together daily on matters of contract enforcement
Three Associate Environmental Planners at the Fresno office of Caltrans came to Local 1000 for help because they were working out of class. We forced the state to address the contract violation, staff gathered documentation and filed grievance. The grievance was denied at the first level, but Local 1000 kept the pressure on to address the problem, elevating the grievance until the state ultimately admitted the employees were indeed working out of class and granted the
The month of February is a time when America can take a moment to recognize its strongest foundation—its diversity. The fact that everyone in Local 1000 is different and comes from a different background unifies us.
Our Local 1000 Purpose Statement makes it clear that we want to “… give our members—and all Californians—the opportunity to have a good life, live in sustainable communities and enjoy the fruits of social, economic and environmental justice,” just as these African-Americans showed leadership in California:
Local 1000 stewards are the building blocks of the collective power of our union. Up and down the state, nearly 1,000 of our members have stepped up to take a pledge to enforce our contract and improve workplace conditions, while engaging their coworkers to become active and support our Union’s pursuit of social and economic justice.
In 2015, just over 150 new steward candidates successfully completed our Leadership Apprentice Program for Stewards (LAPS) program. In 2016, we want to triple the number of LAPS graduates.
Teresa Hubbard joined the “1000 for Local 1000” challenge because she is ready to make a stand for herself and her coworkers in her workplace. By joining a Worksite Action Team (WAT), Hubbard and other 1000 for Local 1000 member leaders are gathering strength and creating a solid organizing structure that will put pressure on the state to take our demands seriously as we bargain the 2016 contract—and beyond.
Barry Frazier has been a proud union member as both a county and state employee in a career spanning more than 40 years.
Frazier attended a Local 1000 bargaining town hall, wanting to know more about Gov. Brown’s proposal to have state employees contribute 5% of their pay for the cost of medical retirement benefits.
“Medical benefits are essential to retirement security,” said Frazier. “As a county worker, our retiree medical benefits were not guaranteed by contract. The Board of Supervisors constantly whittled them away.”
Black History Month gives us an opportunity to remember the accomplishments of ordinary people who recognized that change doesn’t just happen but comes only when we are willing to risk ourselves for justice. Ordinary people exhibiting extraordinary bravery in the arena of civil rights, economic and social justice.
A Bargaining Unit One member received a $25,000 lump-sum settlement in arbitration after a grievance filed with the support of Local 1000 members and staff was denied at every level. The member, a Health Program Specialist I at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), was being denied extra work assignments—Duty Officer Positions–that were rightfully his due to seniority.
Bargaining for our new contract begins later this spring, and already our represented employees are attending town halls up and down the state to meet members of our bargaining team and to share the issues most important to them.
In more than two dozen town halls scheduled up and down the state, members are getting their questions answered about the bargaining process and identifying their priorities. Among the issues discussed: workplace conditions, job classifications, upward mobility and pay increases.”
Bargaining Unit 20 LVNs working at Ironwood State Prison have been assured of safer and healthier working conditions during prison construction after filing a grievance and ultimately winning a settlement during arbitration.
Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego Councilmember Carl DeMaio, two failed politicians obsessed with taking away public employee pensions, have withdrawn their 2016 antipension ballot measures.
Local 1000 represents nearly 8,000 IT workers at a variety of state departments in classifications such as Information Systems Technician and Associate Programmer Analyst. But because IT job classifications in California state service have not been reviewed in decades, they are out of date and out of step with comparable jobs in the private sector, and with the local and federal work force.
“One of our prime responsibilities is the people that work for us.” —Governor Jerry Brown
Governor Jerry Brown introduced his proposed 2016-2017 state budget on January 7, setting the tone for the upcoming legislative session and for the season of bargaining that will result in a new contract for Local 1000-represented state workers.
Over the past year, Local 1000 members up and down the state came together to build strength in their workplaces and in their communities, to solve issues that affect their lives and the lives of their families, friends and colleagues.
They organized to build successful campaigns that protected their hard-earned contract rights and their pensions and to improve the lives of all Californians.
Due to the end of the year, the weekly newsletter will be on hold until the new year. Expect it back on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. Until then, we wish you safe travels, happy holidays and a wonderful new year.
Local 1000 leveraged our collective power to get relief for members at the State Special Schools who were struggling with delays in State Special Schools Benefit (SSSB) funds. SSSB funds are a type of unemployment benefit for employees of the State Special Schools run by the California Department of Education (CDE).
Local 1000 members and staff met several times over the past eight months with department representatives. The union forced management to identify what was causing delays and to find ways to minimize those delays.
Local 1000 has launched its 2016 contract campaign with these words from President Yvonne R. Walker: “Our contract will be about the strength and the power of our members to win something amazing.”
Speaking to members statewide on a conference call for Local 1000 stewards and hundreds more who heard the call at listening parties, Walker looked forward to the upcoming negotiations feeling confident about the preparation that’s gone before.
Local 1000 is spearheading a coalition of labor, faith and social justice groups to expand programs that address the growing retirement crisis facing millions of Californians.
Last month, our union cohosted a coalition-building event that released research reviewing this growing crisis and what Californians will face at retirement age without new policies to change the future.
A Local 1000 member has had his 5% annual Merit Salary Adjustment restored after it was denied in June of 2015. Local 1000’s Union Resource Center (URC) filed a grievance, arguing the denial was unreasonable after management failed to establish any performance problems.
Two representation wins for members who were initially denied sick leave prove, once again, that the collective strength of Local 1000 can make all the difference for members facing the indifferent bureaucracy of state government during a time of personal need.
Local 1000 members and community partners stood up for stronger action on immigration reform at a press conference held November 20—the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration—calling on working families to hold politicians accountable for policies that tear families apart and weaken our economy.
At Local 1000, we make reflection an important part of our work. And Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect and be thankful for what we have and how we can use what we’ve been blessed with to better the lives of others.
As state workers, we are fortunate to have pensions but less than half of private sector workers in California have any retirement benefits at all through their employers. And nearly half of ALL Californians working today are on track to retire into poverty.
False accusations are painful and can damage reputations. So when two LVNs at the California Correctional Institute in Tehachapi were blamed for a discrepancy in a pill count after their shift, Local 1000 mobilized our legal and representation resources to help these two members clear their names.
Local 1000’s Statewide Bargaining Advisory Committee (SBAC) met on November 14 and 15 in San Jose to plan, train and outline visions and strategies to ensure our members’ priorities are moved forward at the bargaining table and beyond. Central to the gathering was the challenge for members to come forward and present a strong, united front to secure the best contract possible.
November 11 is Veterans Day. As a veteran of the Marine Corps and the daughter of a Marine, Veterans Day is a special holiday for me. It is a day that, with solemnity and pride, we honor the people who choose to step forward and risk everything in service to their country.
That spirit of sacrifice and honor is what fills our country and our state with hope and promise. We can all draw inspiration from the examples of our veterans by stepping up when we are called to service—whether it be to our families, to our communities or to our coworkers.
The Fresno Action Committee, the Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) for the Fresno Covered California office, is building a voice for workers to demand respect at that worksite. A recent meeting resulted in management conceding a number of items, including the right of workers to have a coffee and water club, to monitor their cell phones for emergencies and to have ample time to check emails and study.
On October 23, Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker accepted an invitation from Central Coast members to tour the correctional facilities in Soledad, and the visit provided an opportunity to connect members from across the state with important struggles that are going on there. It also helped solidify alliances the union is making to honor our Purpose Statement’s directive to build better and more sustainable communities for all Californians.
Local 1000 members at the California School for the Deaf (CSD) took action to protest unfair coaching salary schedules that have deaf coaches being paid less—sometimes as little as half—than the salaries of their hearing counterparts at other schools. During the CSD Fremont homecoming game against rivals CSD Riverside on October 17, members created an organized presence, setting up a booth and handing out “Support Our Coaches” stickers and fliers to call attention to the unequal pay.
By taking collective action, we will make $15 and a union a central economic demand of our time. We are marching on city halls this time because city halls are the local symbol of our nation’s broken political system. We are joining together to elect and hold accountable politicians who support the middle class and a living wage for all workers.
To join us at the Sacramento or Oakland actions or to find a November 10 action near you, visit us at seiu1000.org/nov10
A dedicated group of Local 1000 members who provide lifesaving treatment under challenging conditions are being honored this week, along with thousands of their professional brothers and sisters across the nation.
This week is Respiratory Care Week. Our Respiratory Therapists work up and down the state in correctional facilities and state hospitals and deserve thanks for their efforts to help patients experience a healthier quality of life.
Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker was the keynote speaker at a groundbreaking October 14 conference on retirement security called “Building Tomorrow’s California: New Visions for Retirement Security” that brought together activists from labor, faith and social justice groups to take a hard look at the retirement crisis and began to craft solutions that will work for all Californians.
Nearly two dozen member leaders from across the state gathered at Local 1000’s Sacramento office October 12–16 to participate in a dynamic new leadership development program. The program is designed to recognize and mentor effective leaders to build Union power and solidarity as we prepare to bargain a new contract as well as fight off continuing attacks on the union.
After a dangerous and deceptive pension initiative failed to gain support, right-wing extremists Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio have come out with two new proposals that continue their efforts to degrade the hard-earned pension benefits of public employees.
While their new approach appears to dial back the threat to current workers, the new attacks are just as dangerous. Everyone who cares about the economic security of California as a large segment of our population moves toward retirement should take this multi-pronged attack very seriously.
Our 2015 legislative agenda—a yearlong effort to make politics matter for our members and all Californians—was capped this week when Gov. Brown signed the Local 1000-supported Senate Bill 343 into law.
Titled “CDCR Librarians and Inmate Community College Incentives,” the new law adds Unit 3 librarians to the CDCR rehabilitation team and reflects their role in preparing prison inmates for successful parole. The bill also adds incentives for the completion of two- and four-year college degrees.
A supervisor at DGS has been reassigned and no longer manages workers after Local 1000 won a grievance against workplace bullying.
Local 1000 is committed to creating and maintaining emotionally healthy workplaces for the state workers we represent. We recognize that hostility and unprofessionalism are unsafe working conditions and we take these threats to our workers seriously.
Two DGS employees came to the union to get relief from an oppressive situation that was making the workplace unbearable for them.
Local 1000 provides crucial representation to our members, not only at the bargaining table, but by backing up workers in the day-to-day interactions with management bureaucracy that can affect career advancement.
One of our members at Child Support Services recently experienced just that kind of support after coming to the union for assistance with getting management to remove outdated performance-related materials from his file. The contents of a state worker’s supervisor’s file can have a major impact on their ability to promote and take advantage of career opportunities.
The Local 1000-supported goal of creating a retirement safety net for Californians with no workplace plan came nearer its goal on September 28 as the Secure Choice Retirement board considered detailed information about how that state-run plan should work. Local 1000 was there to make sure our members’ voices are heard as important decisions are made on this groundbreaking program.
The member works as a Program Tech II, Permanent Intermittent. The member was written up several times for misusing sick leave and being out on military leave without proper authorization. The Covered California employee is a member of the armed forces in the reserves who is called into active duty for training every year.
Ignoring our contract language and the members’ rights, Covered California management denied her medical and military orders, insisting that medical notes be explicit and demanding letters from her commander for every day that she was out on military leave.
Pope Francis’ first visit to the U. S. since being elected to the papacy in 2013 provided Local 1000’s Latino/Latina Committee with the opportunity to host two nights of discussion on the visit’s significance. Called “Connecting Common Values: Income Inequality, Environment, Immigration, Race” the forums were held September 15 and 22 at Local 1000’s Sacramento Field Office in partnership with Sacramento Area Congregations Together (ACT).
The movement for dignity and solidarity in Bargaining Unit 15 is growing at Napa State Hospital. A large worksite action organized by custodians there is calling public attention to unsafe conditions and forcing management to the table to address a variety of worker concerns.
As a member political organizer in San Diego, Tammy Endozo has listened to many politicians talk about what they would do if elected. As a legislative fellow working out of Local 1000’s Sacramento office, she’s had a chance to see how many of them actually hold to the promises they’ve made. It’s been an eye-opening experience for her, reinforcing the importance of members being involved and active in the electoral process.
Two Local-1000 sponsored bills are on the governor’s desk, awaiting signature before the October 11 deadline. Four other bills supported by the union are on a two-year track as Local 1000 continues to push an aggressive legislative agenda.
“We’re making politics matter for our members by driving legislation that affects our lives at work and in our communities,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president. “We’re demonstrating the power of our membership at the Capitol.
Local 1000 Steward Wandra Pitts believes her work representing her coworkers doesn’t stop at the office door.
An Associate Government Program Analyst at CalPERS, she’s halfway through a year’s union leave, working at Local 1000’s Union Resource Center (URC), solving problems for members facing challenges in the workplace.
When Meghan Burkhart was growing up in the San Joaquin Valley, her father worked in the migrant farm camps. That influence gave Burkhart two important perspectives on the world: that we are tied to the land by the food we eat and that the hands that provide the labor can join together to raise each other up.
So when Burkhart entered state service two years ago working in the call center at the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), signing on with the union that represents 95,000 state workers was as natural to her values as buying California-grown produce.
Last week, Sacramento’s Income Inequality Task Force recommended an increase in the city’s minimum wage to $12.50 an hour by 2020. The recommendation will now go before the City Council for review and public comment before a final decision is reached.
“We have raised the debate about income inequality and will continue the fight for fair wages throughout California so that no one who works full time lives in poverty,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president.
Organizing by our members at the Yountville Veteran’s Home is changing a culture of disrespect and abuse there and sending a message to other worksites in Bargaining Unit 15 that solidarity works and that we are always stronger together.
Local 1000 activists went to the Capitol on August 26 to lobby on behalf of our members.
Representing worksites and DLCs from across the state, the members brought our issues to legislators through face-to-face conversations. Making these personal connections ensures that the people who make laws understand the real consequences of their decisions on the working people of California.
The member-lobbyists received training in the morning and then traveled to the Capitol with an important goal: show lawmakers that politics matter to Local 1000 members.
Our 63-member Bargaining Unit Negotiating Council (BUNC) recently spent three days training intensively for upcoming contract negotiations. Local 1000’s contract expires July 1, 2016 – just ten months from now.
Bargaining strategies and tactics were key topics, along with discussions about member engagement. The focus: honing the skills necessary to negotiate a fair contract that protects our hard-earned rights from previous contracts while improving our wages, working conditions and benefits.
Scores of Local 1000 members were joined by community activists from across the Sacramento region August 25 for a town hall addressing the growing wealth disparity in our economy and what working people can do to stand up for each other.
When Annie Chao took a poll of her coworkers at the Department of Insurance (DOI) in Los Angeles, she found that many had a desire to telework.
A new steward out of the Leadership Apprentice Program for Stewards (LAPS), Chao immediately put her training to work researching options that would help meet that need. LAPS had provided her with a steward toolkit of organizing actions to win important workplace rights for her coworkers.
“I started with the contract,” Chao said. “I found there’s a provision in there for teleworking.”
A team of Local 1000 member activists are at the Capitol today to talk face-to-face with lawmakers and their staff in support of bills sponsored or backed by Local 1000.
Politics is one of the important ways that our union brings change to our members’ lives. We maximize our impact at the Capitol by empowering members to lobby on issues they have identified as priorities.
As the possibility for narrowing the income gap comes closer to reality for low wage workers in Sacramento, Local 1000 members are pushing to keep the needs of the working families top-of-mind for the city’s decision makers. At the third meeting of Sacramento’s Income Inequality Task Force on August 12, our members took their turn at the public comment podium to give voice to the real experiences of working Californians—and their community partners—who struggle to live on minimum wage.
The deadly 2016 pension-gutting ballot initiative designed to bypass collective bargaining and threaten the retirement security of all public employees has passed another milestone, receiving a official title and summary from California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Titled the “Public Employees. Pension and Retiree Healthcare Benefits. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” the ballot measure “eliminates constitutional protections for vested pension and retiree healthcare benefits for current public employees.”
There’s a word for managers who yell, play favorites, deny hard-earned working conditions and trample the rights of workers who engage in union activities: bullies. And when your boss is a bully, you need someone to be a champion for you. For an increasing number of our members, that champion is Joel Chan.
At a first-time meeting between Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Executive Officer Selvi Stanislaus and 20 Local 1000 stewards from that department, the union set out our road map to creating a cooperative, mutually-beneficial environment for workers and management.
“We’re here to build a relationship with FTB leadership based on support and collaboration,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president. “We can accomplish a lot together by communicating on critical issues and working together to find solutions.”
On July 23, the Unit 15 Upward Mobility Team met with the state’s representatives in a Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) as part of a continuing dialogue about gaps in the various departments’ upward mobility programs.
Along with Chair Jesse Aranda (DSH), the team is comprised of Garth Underwood (CDCR), Shavone Brown (DGS) and Ellis Washington (EDD), as well as staff from Local 1000’s contract department.
Nearly 200 bargaining representatives from across the state voted this weekend to elect Local 1000’s 63-member Bargaining Unit Negotiating Council (BUNC). These member activists and leaders will be responsible for negotiating the successor contract. The current contract expires July 1 of 2016.
Representatives from each of the nine state bargaining units met Saturday afternoon and evening to elect their bargaining teams.
Stewards are at the core of Local 1000’s power, the crucial connection between the members in the workplace and the union. So when one of our representatives is treated unfairly for doing the work of the union, they’ve picked a fight we’ll take to the mat.
A key component of Local 1000’s vision for Retirement Security for all Californians can move forward thanks to action by President Obama. On July 13, the President ordered his Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, to create a set of rules for states by year’s end that will make it easier for them to set up and run retirement savings programs for workers without access to 401(k) plans.
Local 1000 is taking an active role in shaping the future of the state work force and is working to ensure that the employees who carry out California’s business reflect the diversity of the populations they serve.
Generational shift coming
As the baby boom generation approaches retirement and millennials estimated to reach 75 percent of the work force in 10 years, the union and state lawmakers have identified an important opportunity to influence the future face of state work.
The Young DLC (Driving Leadership and Change), a 35-and-under group of members who meet regularly to engage with the state workers of their generation, is one example of Local 1000’s commitment to creating a path to state service that is truly open to all Californians. Among its many outreach activities, the Young DLC hosts a number of career-building workshops designed to help state workers and prospective employees navigate the sometimes confusing path to working for California.
Local 1000 stopped the State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund) from implementing a serious violation of our contract by introducing performance standards in the workplace without notifying and bargaining with the union. As a result of our pressure, State Fund has agreed to suspend the controversial program and meet with Local 1000.
Local 1000 representation led to two Unit 11 workers receiving thousands of dollars in back pay after the union forced the state to correct errors in wages and benefit deductions.
“These wins are another example of the contract enforcement efforts Local 1000 provides to all members,” said Tamekia N. Robinson, Local 1000 vice president for organizing and representation. “Even bureaucratic mistakes cost members the money they’ve earned, and we’re here to help.”
Seventy Local 1000 members at the Employment Development Department (EDD) stepped up to soften the blow for some of their coworkers who faced reduced hours. As a result, what would have been a major reduction in work and pay for a few people was distributed among a larger group for a much less significant negative impact.