Unit 15 CalVet Members Fight and Win Unpaid Shoe Allowance


Our Unit 15 members at the Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) used their collective power to enforce our contract to require the state to make good on an unpaid safety footwear allowance—after not receiving their checks for more than a year. 

Worksite health and safety was a key theme in our 2016 contract negotiations, and a priority for our Unit 15 members was an annual uniform replacement allowance of $500 and an annual safety footwear allowance of $100. You can read more about these allowances in article 12.11 of our contract. 

For Unit 15 members, oil- and slip-resistant shoes are essential when working in potentially unsafe conditions. When the state failed to pay the footwear allowance, our members banded together and filed a grievance in late December 2017. Management responded on Feb. 1, and the payment is forthcoming. 

“This is a great example of how having a strong union and a strong contract makes a difference. We projected our power to win this allowance and used it again to collect an unpaid debt.” 
–Maria Patterson, DGS, Stockton, Bargaining Unit 15 Chair