Worksite Wins Build Worker Power

Article Published on April 21, 2023

When Devin Hutchings was offered a job at the Department of Toxic Substances, California (DTSC) in Berkeley, CA, 6 months ago, she was prepared to change her life to join state service. After receiving a written offer,agreeing to the salary and classification, she made a major move from Portland, Oregon to California. She moved to the Bay Area after weighing the high cost of living and expense of moving with the salary she had been promised.

Devin was so sure of her commitment to the job that she turned down job offers for more money to work elsewhere. However, she realized shortly after starting at DTSC that she was making less than she was promised. She was informed that due to a “clerical error,” she would be paid significantly less than she was promised. After making an expensive move and now dealing with the daunting prospects of a new cost of living, she was ready to fight for her rights and for the agreement she signed.

She reached out to her union to hold the state to their previous agreements. After meetings and strategizing with a SEIU Local 1000 organizer, a union attorney was assigned to her case and took the fight to the state. After filing a wage claim, Devin’s case was settled in court.

By getting a settlement, she will receive the difference in pay for 18 months of work based on what the state promised and what she received after she arrived. As a member of the union, she is protected, like every state worker, from broken promises, misconduct, and disrespect from her employer.