Myself and the Vice Presidents have been on the road for another week as we build union power at worksites across the state. My report of the week’s events at SEIU Local 1000 is focused on those in-person, face-to-face relationships we’re developing. Every worksite we visit, finding out what urgent and unheard issues you’re facing is our top priority so that we can unite and demand improvements to our working conditions, pay, and benefits. At each worksite, we ask: Are you ready to take action? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Worksite DLC Tour

  • I started the week on Monday, meeting with several staff Directors to discuss our week’s program, our staffing needs and the messaging we will use to maintain the focus on building our membership and working towards our 2023 contract negotiations.
     
  • Tuesday, I went to the State Building in Oakland, where I talked with members and nonmembers while tabling in the lobby.
     
  • Wednesday was an interesting day at San Quentin. We met with case record analysts, nursing staff, and cooks, all working “behind the wire.”
     
  • Additionally, on Wednesday, we visited two DMV worksites in Oakland where we signed up eight new members. Our group of DLC and statewide leaders engaged members and nonmembers in discussions around pay, personal security, staffing and workload.
     
  • Thursday, I visited the Stoneridge Mall DMV in Pleasanton. Here, like in Oakland, our discussions focused on mandatory overtime, poor management, issues with pay and understaffing. As in workplaces across the state, our jobs are changing before our eyes. At this location, our members were training the public to use computer terminals to initiate their interaction with DMV. Automation is here, and state workers are leading the way in familiarizing the public with new technology and encouraging usage.
     
  • Friday, we visited Napa State Hospital, where our Unit 1 Personnel Specialists and Unit 4 Office Assistants and Office Technicians hosted a well-attended event where we discussed reclassification, the tools we can use to enforce our contract, and our relationship with CalHR and department leaders.

Political Work

  • Wednesday and Thursday evenings, after my worksite visits, I engaged with our political leaders to discuss re-establishing relationships between Local 1000 and our Political Leaders in Sacramento. Having conversations with legislators is a critical tool to putting the serious issues state workers are facing on the radar of the government, and will be important to our contract negotiation in 2023.
  • At every worksite I visit, one thing is clear: when we meet nonmembers face-to-face, they are joining our union. Why? Our represented workforce wants what we all want: better pay and improved working conditions. State workers from across California share the same stories: difficulties paying bills, problems with workplace understaffing, and extreme workloads stretching them thin.
     
  • California state workers are not alone. Across our nation, government employees have been left behind financially, while the services they provide to the public remain as critical as ever.
     
  • Our employer has ignored us for far too long. It is past time we make our voices heard and our demands met by our elected officials. This will not be easy, but it is a fight we are ready to take on. In order for us to be successful, we need every member across our union to help build membership to ensure we act together to achieve the gains you need and want.
     
  • How do you help build that? Reach out to your coworkers about issues in your workplace, have conversations about how to build power to fight unfair policies, and ask nonmember coworkers to join Local 1000. Leaders and staff alone cannot build a strong union from the top down. We need you, your coworkers, and the support of communities across the state to be successful.
     
  • So, as we head into our fifth week of the DLC Membership Tour, I want to thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing many of you while we continue to make our visits and build union power across California!

 

 

 

 

William (Bill) Hall
Board Chair, SEIU Local 1000
bhall@seiu1000.org