Launching the union-wide effort to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us, our member-elected Bargaining Team met with the State for the first time today to negotiate. Today’s session was at the “master table,” where issues that impact all of our 96,000 represented employees are negotiated.

In her opening remarks, Vice President for Bargaining and Chief Negotiator Irene Green underscored the top priority for our members: a pay increase that brings much-needed financial stability and dignity to state workers, one that reflects the real value of the services that our members provide to the residents of California.

“Too many state workers are struggling to make ends meet,” Green said. “When 35 percent of our represented employees don’t earn enough to support a family of four when 70% can’t support themselves and one child, and when nearly 5,000 civil service workers don’t make enough to provide for their own basic needs … it’s a crisis that we must work together to address.”

In today’s session, our team presented a number of contract articles for “rollover,” a term you’ll hear used to describe parts of the contract that don’t require negotiation this cycle. Today’s rollover articles govern the relationship between Local 1000 and the State, grievance and arbitration procedures, and the layoff process.

On Monday, April 17, four bargaining units (11, 15, 20, and 21) will go to the table for the first time in 2023. They will begin their work to address unit-specific issues that were brought forth during the bargaining town halls and from the bargaining surveys. On Tuesday, April 18, five units (1,3, 4, 14, and 17) will hold their first sessions at the table. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, April 19.

Each day following bargaining, we’ll email summaries and post them online to our Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

Thousands of members—in hundreds of worksites across the state—purpled up and stood up to demonstrate their solidarity and support for the bargaining team and a great contract. We hope you’ll join them every Wednesday to echo our demand to the state to Respect Us … Protect Us … and Pay Us!

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. If you’re not a member, join us today.