Our Fight is Underway for Essential Worker Premium Pay

Article Published on June 10, 2022

Our SEIU Local 1000 team met with the State on June 9, 2022, to bargain over the critical subject of Essential Worker Premium Pay (EWPP).  Our team included the nine Bargaining Unit Chairs, all three Vice Presidents, the Board Chair, and staff from the Contract Department. The State brought representatives from CalHR, CDCR, CCHCS, DSH, DDS, and CalVet. 

The State opened the discussion by passing a proposal that would provide a one-time $1500 “Health Care Retention Payment” to a narrow group of full-time state employees who met the following eligibility criteria:

  • The employee must have been employed by the State on January 1, 2022, and must have remained employed by the State upon the first day of the pay period following ratification; and,
  • The employee is employed in a correctional facility, correctional health facility, State Hospital, Veteran’s home, and/or Developmental Services facility; and,
  • The employee was in-person providing services onsite more than 50% of the time during the pandemic.

We strongly advocated that this proposal was not enough—both in the amount of the payment and the number of employees covered by the payment.  All of our members provided critical services to the State of California to keep it running during the pandemic. As such, this proposal fails to recognize the sacrifices made by so many in our DMV and EDD offices, skilled nursing facilities, on our highways and fish hatcheries, and in countless other worksites across our state.

Our members kept California running. Our members kept the revenue coming in to create the surplus we are now enjoying. The State’s current proposal does not respect the labor we provided and continue to provide as this pandemic persists. We will continue to fight for more and will be setting additional bargaining dates to make a counterproposal that respects all of our members.