Our Commitment to Real Representation
Fighting for members' rights starts with stewards
Protecting our members’ rights in the workplace is at the core of Local 1000’s mission. How we represent our members can vary a great deal from answering simple questions about workplace rules in the contract to defending the interests of members in complex litigation at arbitration or in civil court.
Representation starts with union stewards–state employees who volunteer their time to help fellow members and strengthen Local 1000–who make themselves available during work hours. Their job is to ensure that our members receive the protections and rights that are guaranteed by our contract. Stewards are the front line of the union and they are backed up by Local 1000’s Member Resource Center, the Union Resource Center and Legal Department, which have the resources to handle more complicated issues.
“Our primary focus is to ensure that each and every one of our members enjoys the hard-earned rights we’ve bargained for,” said Tamekia N. Robinson, vice president for organizing/representation. “Our contract is really a series of promises from the state, and strong representation is how we make sure the state keeps its promises.”
Typically most issues– questions about how your boss or your department is interpreting a particular provision of the contract–can be raised in one of two ways: by contacting your union steward or by calling the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).
More than 95 percent of member queries are resolved at the MRC or through contacting a steward directly. If an issue warrants further review or action, the case is referred to Local 1000’s Union Resource Center (URC), who will investigate the situation and work with a member and their steward to solve the issue or elevate it to a grievance.
Here are some of the 2014 victories that have been resolved through the representation process:
- Workers gained new flexibility for checking in with supervisors electronically or in person at the Department of Industrial Relations.
- More than 235 Department of General Services custodians each received $300 to cover costs because the state was adequately cleaning employee uniforms.
- Nearly 550 registered dental assistants at prisons received back pay ranging from $1,750 to $3,500 after a grievance was resolved through bargaining.
- A Caltrans worker who was wrongly imprisoned got his job back after intervention by our legal staff.
- Grievances over scheduling, overtime and other matters by groups of prison health care workers at the Sierra Conservation Center and the California Health Care Facility were resolved through separate joint labor management committees.