On Thursday, January 18, 2023, our SEIU Local 1000 member team and staff met with leadership from the Department of Real Estate’s (DRE) legal division to discuss the new remediation process that legal support staff began working on in late November. We became aware of this new process because some of our represented employees contacted our URC to get additional information about the process, and we verified that we never received a notice from the Department on this issue at which point we reached out to the Department.

During our meeting, our team focused on getting answers regarding the actual impact on our represented employees related to the new duties. Frustratingly, the Department offered primarily vague answers with very few specifics, noting only that they didn’t draft a policy related to this task because they didn’t perceive an impact to the employees carrying out the remediation activities. This was based on their belief that remediation activities are “menial” tasks using new software that they believe should still be familiar or intuitive to staff.

This was not an acceptable response for our team, and we focused on gathering additional information to understand what will be expected of our represented employees to perform these tasks, what training and support that they will receive, and when discipline might be triggered. The Department noted a few times that they do not intend to discipline employees as they learn these new duties unless it is determined that the employee is not making the effort to learn the new duties – but could not provide a truly concrete example of that situation and again relied on saying that all decisions were made on a case-by-case basis.

The Department encouraged any employee to work with their immediate supervisor to address workload concerns related to remediation assignments and committed to providing additional training upon employee request but do not intend to draft a guiding policy.

Our Union team left the meeting without feeling like our concerns were taken seriously by the Department. As a result, we are keeping a close eye on the implementation of these new duties to ensure that the statements that the Department made to us match what is occurring at the worksite. We are asking those of you who are performing these remediation duties to inform our Union if you request training or support that you do not receive, if you are disciplined related to the remediation tasks, or have any other concerns related to these duties. You can do this via email to unit1@seiu1000.org or unit4@seiu1000.org and via phone to our Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).