Unit 4 continues to negotiate with representatives from the State this week, as they fight for a contract that provides real solutions to ongoing issues in workplaces across the state while respecting, protecting, and paying every state worker what they’re worth.

This week, the State countered one proposal made by the Unit 4 negotiating team:

  • Article 1.2.4 – Designation of Confidential Positions (Unit 4)

In addition, one new language section was proposed by Unit 4:

  • Article 10.XXX.4 – Wellness and Recovery Time

“Our new language articles today were focused on health and safety, which are priorities for our members, who have been struggling with these issues for far too long in their workplaces,” said Unit 4 Chair Karen Jefferies.

“Our wellness and recovery proposal, addressing mandatory overtime, is a problem that needs to be handled,” said Jefferies. “This has been an ongoing issue for years, and it must be addressed now, not in some hypothetical future.”

However, the State rejected our proposals without providing concrete answers as to why our proposal was not worth countering. These are issues of safety in the workplace, which we and our members take extremely seriously, and we expect the State to do the same.

“We provided a thorough proposal with language that was straight to the point,” said Jefferies. “It seems that the State’s negotiators expect Unit 4 members to do whatever is asked of them, without addressing the safety concerns that have plagued these departments.”

The State has consistently rejected proposals without providing satisfactory explanations, failed to address issues that are common knowledge in workplaces across the State, and ignored the demands of our members to work toward a solution to resolve these issues.

While negotiations are still continuing, the disappointing lack of substantive proposals and counterproposals is delaying serious action on things that members have identified as desperately needed change.

“They talk about the problems they’re seeing at the bargaining table, not problems we’re living within our workplaces,” said Nickia Brisco, bargaining team member. “The whole reason we are here at the table is because these issues haven’t been resolved. We need to solve them together, and that takes effort on the State’s part.” 

Unit 4 returns to the table next week, on Tuesday, June 13. 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.

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