As we enter another week of bargaining with the State for a contract that respects, protects, and pays the workers who have kept California running, our Bargaining Unit 17 team returned to the table on May 16.

In spite of the number of articles that were considered today, the pace of negotiations still must remain high to address all sections that must be approved. “We will see movement forward if the State will provide counter proposals for article sections we have submitted, allowing negotiations to actually begin,” said BU 17 Chair Vanessa Seastrong.

Unit 17 proposed the following remaining rollover article sections:

·         8.25.17 – DSH Vacation Scheduling
·         13.18.17 – Professional Practice Groups
·         21.19.17 – Nursing Policy and Procedures Manual
·         21.20.17 – Labor Management Committee – Nurse Utilization
·         21.21.17 – Contract Violation Waiver
·         21.22.17 – Licensure
·        Appendix N –

1.17 – Departmental Approved Courses and Application Procedures for Educational Differential

2.17 – FLSA Exempt Employee Differential

7.17 – Activation of Correctional Treatment Centers (CTCs)

16.17 – Side Letter

Unit 17 proposed new language for the following article sections:

·         8.26.17 – Department of Veterans Affairs Vacation Scheduling
·         10.19.17 – Prevention and Management of Assaultive Behavior or Therapeutic Strategies and Interventions Training (PMAB/TSI)

DVA Vacation Scheduling is a section the Union and the State worked on together back in 2021. During bargaining, the team wants to make sure that the policy implemented last year for vacation schedules is standardized throughout the department by ensuring it becomes part of the contract.

“The problem we had with DVA was there was no standardized process for vacation time,” said Sheila Coonan, DVA Redding. “We met with the State and took the ideas we liked and collaborated to build this policy that we implemented. Across the board, everyone at my facility loved it. Nurses knew exactly what vacation time they had when they walked out the door. It helped solve issues of preferential treatment and confusion, creating a fair and equitable standard for all DVA members across the state.”

The bargaining team proposed new language to strengthen section 10.19.17 noted above so that our members can be trained and educated in how to protect themselves from assaultive behaviors which can happen in state facilities. “The PMAB training is part of DVA and DDS where we are supposed to receive training every two years. Prior to Covid, the last time it was offered in my workplace was in 2018. We pushed on how important it is to add DVA because this training must be introduced across the board for any workers who face these situations”, said Sheila.

“Our new language proposal includes TSI training that should be provided upon hire, as this secures the worksites of CDCR/CCHCS and the safety of the nurses,” said BU 17 Alternate Vice Chair Bob Mutebi. “We all expect to come back from our jobs in one piece. But when the state neglects to provide us with this training, it puts us all at risk.”

Finally, we reached tentative agreement with the State on the following sections:

·         9.19.17 – Light/Limited Duty Assignments
·         10.24.17 – Immunization Against Diseases
·         10.25.17 – Infectious Disease Control
·         10.35.17 – Employee Self-Protection
·         13.18.17 – Professional Practice Groups
·         13.26.17 – Non-Mandatory Training
·         13.27.17 – In-Service Training
·         21.20.17 – Labor Management Committee – Nurse Utilization                       
·         21.21.17 – Contract Violation Waiver
·         21.22.17 – Licensure

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

The team has made headway today with the State, reaching tentative agreement on a number of important article sections. “We informed them that we’ve provided all of our rollover language and that we need some counter proposals on our future article sections,” said team member Sheila Coonan. “We received four more tentative agreements for rollover sections later in the day, and we proposed two new language sections at the table after lunch.”

Movement at the table is a good sign for the future of negotiations, but the State still needs to provide counter proposals or tentative agreements to these outstanding sections. “Next week, I expect more rollovers to be returned,” said Seastrong. “We need to receive counters so we can negotiate on the articles that matter to our members. The ball is in their court.”

Unit 17’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 23. To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 15, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at

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.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 8 March to the Governor’s mansion here.