Unit 3’s bargaining team launched its efforts to secure recognition for the professionalism and commitment of its represented employees five weeks ago, promising a collaborative and responsive environment; today, the State responded and Unit 3 enjoyed one of its most productive sessions.

The State returned six counter-offers to proposals we’ve presented in previous bargaining sessions, and we had a robust discussion to ascertain the State’s concerns while keeping the focus on our intent to protect our members.

At the core of the discussion were three key contract sections that speak to the heart of professional recognition of our Unit 3 workers:

  • 19.1.3 – Hours of Work
  • 21.25.3 – Work Assignment Notification
  • 25.1.3 – CDCR, OCE 220 Day Academic Year Annual Modification

“Language and intent are important in these negotiations; too often, the lack of clear language finds different and often incorrect interpretations of our contract that create unnecessary stress and effort to fix, which takes us away from the job,” said Unit 3 Chair Bob Holtz.

The State tells us that “it’s being handled well,” yet we know differently. The State often uses confusing language to their advantage, and they resist our efforts to involve stakeholders in finding solutions.

“They don’t treat us as professionals; they don’t respect our FLSA-exempt status,” said Unit 3 team member Barbara Guzman. “We’re serious about every section of the contract, even rollover language, because words and their interpretation matter.”

“A busy day at the table is a good sign,” said Holtz. “When we’re talking with the State, we’re making progress, incremental change.”

And, additional progress today: We reached tentative agreement with the State on two rollover sections, preserving two of our previous contract wins:

  • 22.6.3 – Tenure, Special Schools
  • 22.9.3 – Salary Schedule (State Special Schools and Diagnostic Centers) (Unit 3)

Unit 3 returns to the table next week, on Tuesday, May 30. To see updates on 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.

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