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 through chaotic and unprecedented times. Our Unit 20 (BU 20) Bargaining Unit Negotiating Committee (BUNC) went to the table on May 1st, International Worker’s Day, prepared to fight for our members and the safety and security of the people they serve.

“We passed a lot of language over to the State for approval, including vacation scheduling language from the task forces, as well as making minor tweaks to language around infection control, assaultive response training which includes de-escalation techniques. We also proposed expanding existing language on infectious diseases training to the California Department of Education (CDE) as well.”

These are all meaningful changes that respond to the major disruptions that the State of California has gone through over the last three years of the pandemic. The State, however, does not share the same urgency for our member’s needs.

Unit 20 has 11 outstanding provisions from previous weeks, not including the 5 additional rollovers and 7 new proposals passed today, pending responses from the State. “I felt like there wasn’t sincerity on the State’s part,” said Heather Markovich, Unit 20 BUNC Chair. “We started the day and asked what they had for us. They told us they had one rollover.”

After multiple weeks, the State is still slow to respond to these issues or even ask clarifying questions. “It’s hard to say what’s going on behind closed doors,” said Markovich. “When we asked them if they had any questions or comments about what we sent, they said they were still reviewing.”

Unit 20 was able to reach a Tentative Agreement with the State on one rollover provision from our previous contract, 13.18.20 – Professional Practice. You can read the details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

Unit 20 returns to the table next week, on Monday, May 8th. To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, click here for our Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org.

If you’re not already an SEIU Local 1000 member, join us today.