State Stalls Bargaining Talks; Contract Expiration Date Looms

Article Published in June 2, 2023

Bargaining with the State’s negotiators is approaching our contract expiration date. In the coming month, as SEIU Local 1000 members demand a contract that respects, protects, and pays us, we must also demand action from the State on our negotiations.

In spite of the short timeline to negotiate the hundreds of sections of our contract, representing over 96,000 workers, State negotiators have done little to show they are as invested and involved in the process as we are. 

“Our frustrations at the table stem from the slow responses from the State on issues that significantly affect our represented members,” said Vice President for Bargaining Irene Green. “There is a lack of respect that is being felt by members in the State’s responses to our proposals.”

Bargaining requires a willingness and interest in developing a strong contract. Instead, the State has not given us serious, substantive proposals, especially where economics is concerned. Instead, we’ve gotten rollover language, delays, and a host of unanswered proposals. 

What incremental progress has been made, this does not make up for our 60 outstanding proposals that have not yet been addressed. Our members demand change, a 30% pay raise, and 100% paid health care premiums.

“We have over 60 proposals waiting for responses at the master table and over 100 proposals across all the tables,” said Green. “Some counters and rollover proposals are starting to come back, but the slow pace of the State’s bargaining team means we are not making the progress we need to make.”

While we are pushing hard to get more agreements from the State, ongoing delays from the State to return our proposals will make it challenging for us to finish bargaining by the end of the contract cycle. 

“We are prepared to stay as long as necessary in this negotiation process,” said Green. “Even if it means we work late into the night and weekends to get the negotiation process completed, we are ready to do so.”

Our contract is a powerful tool for our member’s protection, and we are highly motivated to negotiate the articles in it. Our bargaining teams are struggling to find the same initiative on the State’s side. 

We need our members to show up at our actions to demand the State accelerate this process.  By attending our rallies scheduled at the State Capitol on June 8 and in Los Angeles on June 22, state workers will show negotiators that our demands must be heard.