Big Win for SEIU Local 1000 Dramatically Reaffirms Protected Union Activity

Article Published on July 7, 2023

Standing up for your union to build power is how we make positive change and advance our members. Our ability to do so is a core union value, so much so that it’s called “protected behavior” that’s governed by state law and our Local 1000 contract.

Joining a solidarity break, displaying your union colors at your desk, filing a grievance, or being part of a committee to solve issues at the workplace are all protected union activities, and when management interferes with us, harasses us, or discriminates against us, we fight back.

Our rights to take action like these are particularly important as we fight for a new contract. As we escalate our demands for a living wage and better benefits, we can do so without fear of retribution from management.

Recently, one of our members faced harassment and discrimination as a result of his organizing and representation efforts. After a six-year legal battle, our rights to take part in protected activity have been reaffirmed and expanded by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and the California Court of Appeal.

Kevin Healy is a DLC president and a union steward who’s been active in building union strength and a tireless advocate for his coworkers when their contract rights are violated. His own rights to be active as a union member and leader were violated by management, who interfered with his union work, acted to block promotions he qualified for and even denied him access to his own personnel file.

Healy fought back, ultimately filing and winning several different cases at PERB and the Court of Appeal. As a result of his efforts, California law has been changed statewide to protect all public sector union employees from this anti-union treatment by management.

Healy received a retroactive promotion, back pay with interest, and service and retirement credits. In addition, the following was published with CalHR’s approval: “Management recognizes employees’ rights to participate in protected union activities without any fear of reprisal.” You can read more about these cases here.

“Our ability to be active and visible as a union is vitally important,” said Healy. “We are in a real fight to win a good contract, and we need to be able to step up and stand together, without fear of retribution.”

Too many have feared that you can’t have a state job career and still be active as a union member. We’re fighting to make sure they can have both.

Know Your Rights! Taking action as a union employee or a Local 1000 job steward is protected by our contract and by California State Law. Click here to read a list of the things you can do as “protected union activity.”