Custodian Task Force Targets Better Working Conditions


Our Unit 15 members are launching a Custodian Task Force to improve working conditions and secure the proper equipment and chemicals to do their jobs.

The Task Force is just one of the wins our Unit 15 Bargaining Team achieved during the last round of contract negotiations. Custodians in four different state agencies— Department of General Services (DGS), Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Department of State Hospitals (DSH), and the California Prison Industry Authority(CalPIA)—will participate in and benefit from the effort.

“This was a key bargaining win for us,” said Maria Patterson, Unit 15 Bargaining Chair and a DGS Custodian in Stockton. “We will be able to effect real change in the workplace because of the power of our union and our members.”

Members will participate in worksite meetings and fill out surveys that will empower the Task Force to negotiate for change in the workplace. “We need every custodian to step up to help us project power at the bargaining table,” Patterson said.

Members at Cal PIA will be fighting to be included in the recently won Unit 15 benefits: a shoe and clothing allowance and differential pay for their work supervising inmates.

“I chose to be a union member to make a difference for myself and my coworkers,” said Alfredo Cortez, a member of the Unit 15 bargaining team and the Task Force chair, who works at DGS in San Diego. “We can’t make progress unless we choose to stand together.”