Contract Bargaining: Our Plan to Win

Article Published on April 7, 2023

As all SEIU Local 1000 workers know, Wednesdays are the days we wear purple to show support for our Union and to let management know that we have the power to change our workplace. But this coming Wednesday, April 12, this act of solidarity will take on even greater significance, as it coincides with the first master table bargaining session for our 2023 Contract.

To prepare for this important day, the Local 1000 Bargaining Team has been working overtime on our proposal prioritization process. While reviewing every bargaining survey you submitted online and at our town halls, the team has pinpointed the common issues that unify workers across California, identified and discussed the specific needs of each unit, and determined the best strategy for getting those proposals into our contract.

“We have met with the State already and finalized the ground rules, so we’re prepared to open up bargaining,” says SEIU Local 1000 Vice President of Bargaining Irene Green. “After reviewing all of the bargaining surveys, it’s clear that a substantial General Salary Increase (GSI) is our top priority. We want to make sure our members can make a living wage and don’t need to take on a second or third job in order to live in California.”

Your Bargaining Team will continue to actively draft proposals right up until our first session in preparation for the fight ahead. Major issues that cut across all bargaining units, like health care and GSI, will be the topic of our Master Bargaining Sessions, which will occur every Wednesday beginning April 12.

“The team is strong. We’re fully prepared to meet with the State and united in our mission,” says Irene. “We’re fueled by the challenge, invigorated by our mutual respect for each other, and energized by our expertise in different backgrounds and classifications, which is a major strength.”

Work is continuing right up until the final hours before bargaining begins, with an all-hands-on-deck push for members issues to be brought to the State. The schedule for negotiations focused on individual units will continue to evolve as progress is made on various issues and other units require more time.

“The support and input of our represented workers have been vital, knowing that we have members in the worksites standing behind us to build the leverage we need every day,” says Irene.

“The best thing you can do to support us is to purple up on Wednesday, put up that Zoom background, join the union if you’re a non-member, join ROC if you haven’t already done so, and help us build and show our strength.”

“When we demand that the State respects, protects, and pays the workers who kept California running for the last three years, we say that with the force of every one of our members in their workplaces who stand up for their rights. And that’s what will make this the strongest bargaining season that we have ever had.”