We are entering our third week of bargaining with the State for a contract that respects, protects, and pays the workers who have kept California running. Our Unit 17 Bargaining Unit Negotiating Committee, or BUNC, went to the table on May 2 to focus on ways to keep our nurses safe and protected while on the job.

Our Unit 17 BUNC presented thirteen articles as “rollovers,” signaling our desire that the existing language remains unchanged, keeping in place the hard-won rights from previous contract campaigns. The articles proposed for rollover are the following: 

  • 13.2.17 –   Informal Performance Discussion
  • 13.9.17 –   Letters of Instruction (LOI) /Work Improvement Discussion (WID)
  • 13.12.17 – Employment Opportunities
  • 13.6.17 –   Performance Appraisal
  • 13.25.17 – Mandatory Training
  • 13.26.17 – Non-Mandatory Training
  • 13.27.17 – In-Service Training
  • 13.28.17 – Education and Training Opportunities and Resources
  • 13.29.17 – Research Projects
  • 14.4.17 –   Duty Statements / Post Orders, and Work Instructions
  • 14.20.17 – Classification Reviews
  • 15.4.17 –   Employees Opportunity Transfer
  • 16.7.17 – Continuation of Benefits

Additionally, the State agreed to four of our articles, and thus, a “tentative agreement” (TA) was reached on the following articles that were rolled over in last week’s negotiations.

  • 11.5.17 – Release of Paychecks – Night Shift or First Watch
  • 12.6.17 – Alternate Transportation
  • 12.10.17 – Replacement of Damaged Personal Clothing and/or Articles
  • 12.13.17 – Tools, Business Equipment, Materials, and Supplies

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

During today’s negotiations, the State requested evidence from a subject matter expert on safety. The BUNC was able to bring Charles Staubitz, an SEIU Local 1000 member working as a nurse instructor at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, to present on article 10.5.17 – Safety Orientation.

“It went very well,” said Vice Chair Mary Naidoo. “He made a brilliant presentation to the State about the backlog in trainings that has created enormous problems.”

Charles stood up for his coworkers and shared with the State the actual training that workers currently get, which covers basic elements of safety policies and procedures essential to doing their job. This training, already part of our contract, is essential to have before starting work in a correctional facility.

“This article currently gives the state 45 days to provide safety training to new employees. We have proposed that this training occur upon hiring of the employees. Having a current backlog of three months to one year is unacceptable. Our new members can end up making mistakes that cost them their jobs and can be catastrophic for the rest of us who work in institutions. One mistake by anyone can lead to a death of any of us,” said Alternate Vice Chair Bob Mutebi.

“We did not have as productive a day as we expected due to the State’s delays and time management issues,” said BUNC member Sheila Coonan. “These delays disrespect the time of the bargaining team, especially when we have so little time to move forward on these issues. We have more time-consuming articles that both sides know will require considerable back and forth discussion.”

“We have 8 more weeks to bargain before the deadline. With only nine (9) TA’s so far out of our total 47 articles proposed, we need the State to give us more. They’re moving at a snail’s pace,” said Chair Vanessa Seastrong.

Unit 17’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 9. To read about what happened in Tuesday’s other bargaining 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.