Contract Enforcement: Protecting our Hard-Earned Rights

Article published on september 30, 2022

Our contract is a hard-won document that protects our wages, benefits, and working conditions and also includes hundreds of articles that govern how we do our work, schedule our leaves, and interact with our supervisors.

When we stand up and stand together against violations of those rules, we receive the full benefit of the contract we all worked so hard to win.

Representation starts in the workplace, with our frontline Job Stewards. Our staff at the Union Resource Center engage with state workers to continue efforts if issues aren’t solved informally. Our Legal Department is the final step in contract enforcement.

Here are two examples of wins we achieved on behalf of members:

Win: Reasonable accommodation denial reversed

The Union fought back when a teacher with Type 1 diabetes and other medical conditions sought continued telework as a reasonable accommodation after it was ended for most teachers.

The worker was at greater risk if they contracted COVID, and the Union fought back by filing complaints at SPB and EEOC when the accommodation request was denied. After being fully vaccinated against COVID, the member felt able to safely return to the worksite but had used up a lot of paid leave time.

The case was settled with the worker receiving a lump sum of $15,000 in compensation for used leave time.

Win: Discrimination case settled after reasonable accommodation request

Local 1000 fought to protect the rights of a DFA worker who needed reasonable accommodation due to a physical condition that precluded them from wearing a mask or plastic shield and being unable to comply with COVID restrictions unless they were reasonably accommodated.

The worker worked out in the field and rarely came within 60 feet of another human being and could easily have been safely accommodated.

While the worker’s seasonal position came to an end during the case, the discrimination case was settled for $25,000 and assurances that the worker will be given fair consideration for any jobs he applied for in the future.

Real Representation starts with you. If you feel your hard-earned contract rights have been violated, contact your workplace Job Steward or call the Local 1000 Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).