Unit 4 continues to negotiate with representatives from the State this week, as they fight for a contract that addresses the critical needs of workers across the state and defends their existing rights in the workplace.

Today, the State rejected two of our new language proposals listed here:

  • 10.XXX.4 – Wellness and Recovery
  • 11.XX.4 – DWR Incentive Program

The negotiating team also agreed to move several proposals from the unit table to the master table for further negotiations.  

Unit 4 reached a Tentative Agreement on the following rollover article:

  • 13.31.4 – 20/20 Program

Negotiation continues on the following two articles

  • 1.2.4 – Designation of Confidential Positions (Unit 4)
  • 11.27.4 – California State Lottery (CSL) Scratcher Sales Bonus (to be negotiated next Tuesday, June 20th)

The issues that are being rejected are safety issues, without major financial implications for the State. The State is responsible for all of its employees when they’re on the job, and Unit 4 employees are not receiving the protection and respect that we are owed.

“Our members have made their demands clear, and the State is ignoring them,” said Unit 4 Chair Karen Jefferies. “We can’t go another three years without a definite end to these issues, and we will not accept our members’ needs being ignored.”

“The State does not share our priorities here,” said Alternate Vice Chair Jose Eric Alcaraz.

While Unit 4 received a single rollover today, this is not addressing the issues proposed by our members. Our member’s basic concerns and needs regarding health and safety need to be answered.

“Unit 4 workers put our lives on the line for the state,” said Bargaining Team Member Terry Gray “At the table, we’re discussing issues of safety, of work-life balance, of overwork and taking on multiple jobs in our workplaces. These are not economic issues; they are making it clear they will not prioritize our safety.”

Conflict within the departments on implementation, standardization, and fairness have been an ongoing issue the State is forced to manage. By not taking the necessary steps here and now, this will be kicked down the road while not providing for the needs of the people impacted. 

“State workers should be mad as hell that they are in this position due to the State’s inaction and unwillingness to lead,” said Gray. “Some departments are interested in doing better, but when the State sets an example like this, they are failing their workforce and the public we serve.”

Our bargaining team is interested in change, not more of the same. Three more years without concrete protections for the workers that kept California afloat during the pandemic is not in the best interest of the State, our members, or the people of California.

“There are consequences for having Unit 4 employees taking on unsafe work assignments and being mandated to work on their regular days off,” said Jefferies. “The State needs to be accountable for these issues and stop skirting that responsibility.”

Unit 4 returns to the table next week, on Tuesday, June 20. To see updates on other bargaining unit contract 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.

If you are a member, help support the bargaining team by purpling up on Wednesday and attending our upcoming rally in Los Angeles on June 22.