As the Unit 21 bargaining team presses the State for additional recognition of their professional skills, their commitment to serving the state, and the importance of their work, we’re utilizing members as Subject Matter Experts who provide real context to the jobs they do and the challenges they face.

Today, three of our Unit 21 archivists spoke in support of three contract sections we proposed that would strengthen existing language by aligning it more closely with today’s reality.

To wit: our Archivist series job classification hasn’t been updated since 1966—just one example of many where the state is falling farther and farther behind in recognizing and correcting this and many similar needs of Unit 21 members.

Stephanie Geller, Veronica Lara, and Melissa Tyler used real-life examples of those challenges; perhaps none more stunning than the evolution of the documents they handle from paper to digital.

“Old job specs don’t speak at all to the work we do. Digital information requires new skills to collect, preserve, and provide access to records, and we’re fighting to bridge the gap between new job demands and the formal education required to do our jobs,” said Archivist Veronica Lara. “Every day we’re not trained or earn additional certifications is another day the state loses records.”

Today, under the umbrella of “Respect Us!” and “Pay Us,” we proposed stronger, more relevant language on the following contract sections:

  • 12.14.21 Professional Development (Unit 21) 
  • 12.15.21 Reimbursement of Credential – License Fees (Unit 21)
  • 11.64.21 Professional Development (Unit 21) 

A proposal for new contract language—XX.XX.21 Telecommute Telework Program (Unit 21)—was presented by Unit 21 bargaining team member Monica Grimes and the Unit 21 archivists, who described key issues affirming our professional status—that we are evaluated by our work product and are not hourly employees. This new contract section reinforces our demand for respect to do our work professionally and on time.

Finally, under the heading of “Respect Us,” we reached tentative agreement on two previously-presented proposals. They are 13.6.21 Performance Appraisal and 21.17.21 Recognition of Authorship.

“This is a bargaining unit comprised of life-long learners,” said Unit 21 chair Bobby Roy. “In all cases, we want to be fairly treated, to enhance our service to the state through career development and to grow in our jobs.

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

Unit 21 returns to the table next week, on Monday, May 22. 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.