Our Bargaining Unit 11’s efforts today included proposals that would strengthen language governing our labor management committee, upward mobility for Unit 11 members, and two additional proposals affecting the laboratory assistants we represent.

A new contract proposal presented today would solve some long-standing classification and job description issues for four different Laboratory Assistants, who do distinct types of work in prisons, at Fish and Wildlife, and for the public health system. They have different job duties, yet their job specs are 40+ years old and need updating.

“We’ve been talking about this much-needed boost for Lab Assistants since the 2016 contract cycle, and the State’s team responded, agreeing it was time to fix this,” said Brad Willis, Unit 11 Chair. “We want a joint effort between Local 1000 and the State to respect their work with proper classification and compensation.”

Today, we also proposed an increase in the differential for those laboratory assistants who perform phlebotomy as part of their job description. The $125 monthly amount hasn’t changed in 18 years, while wages have nearly doubled. Thus, we’re asking for an increase to $250, which represents approximately 5% of current wages.

Joint labor management committees are powerful tools we use to continue the effort to improve wages and working conditions between contract cycles; today we proposed language to strengthen article 5.15.11, which governs the JLMC for Unit 11.

“Our goal is to re-focus the JLMC to address some much needed and thorough review of classifications and compensation,” said Unit Chair Willis. “We can’t solve a rampant vacancy problem without the improvements in recruitment and retention that come from these reviews.”

We’re pressing for stronger language in Article 13.31.11, which governs the 20/20 program. Many of our Unit 11 members hope to advance their contributions to their job. We’re seeing too many requests for this program denied by the state; we hope a re-write will make this available to more Unit 11 employees.

You can read the details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

Unit 11 returns to the table next week, on Monday, May 8. To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.