2021 Year in Review: Contract Enforcement
Providing Real Representation for our Members is a Local 1000 Priority
Having a strong union means having the power to protect our rights and enforce our contract, and our online search tool allows our members easy-to-use access to the hundreds of contract articles that govern our wages, benefits, and working conditions.
Throughout the year, our members, working in concert with front-line job stewards, and our Union Resource Center (URC), pushed back against contract violations, and we often reported wins on behalf of a good number of the 100,000 state employees we represent.
Are you looking for information about vacation accrual? Rules regarding sick leave? How to take advantage of upward mobility programs in your department? The answers are just a click away at contract.seiu1000.org
This powerful tool offers users the opportunity to search by simple key words or to read through the contract article-by-article.
Understanding and protecting our hard-earned rights is both a benefit and a responsibility we all share. And when management fails to observe our rights, our members, job stewards, and our URC work together to ensure the contract is enforced.
Here are some recent examples of representational wins we’ve achieved for our members:
WIN: Supervisor’s Teleworking SNAFU Reversed, Member
A Northern California Employment Development Department (EDD) employee, working remotely, lost internet service and was advised by a supervisor to wait at home rather than coming into the office. The next day, our member was told to post their own time or make up the two hours—against EDD policy. Our URC contacted Labor Relations and challenged the treatment of our member. The lost time was through no fault of the employee, and our position was that the two hours should be logged as time worked or Administrative Time Off (ATO). EDD granted our request, and our member posted two hours of ATO and received two hours of lost overtime pay.
Win: Bereavement Leave Granted Properly after
Management Reads Contract
One of our Bay Area Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) members was recently denied full use of a bereavement day, instructed instead to treat the bereavement leave like a dentist appointment and return to the office after the service. Taking immediate action, our URC first spoke with the member’s immediate supervisor, and then the office manager, neither of whom were familiar with our plain-language contract provisions for bereavement leave. After being directed to DMV Labor Relations, Management approved the bereavement leave as described in the contract.
Win: Member Seeks and Wins Telework Arrangement after
3 Unreasonable Denials
One of our Southern California members working at DMV was granted the ability to telework—and to care for a child whose elementary school had closed—after an assist from one of our representatives at the Union Resource Center.
Our member used up the available E-FMLA for the closure. When that expired, three requests for telework were denied. When the member returned to work, she learned other colleagues were working remotely. A written request for telework or a schedule modification went unanswered. Frustrated, the member requested, and was granted, an unpaid leave of absence until January 2021.
Subsequently, the member contacted Local 1000, and working with the URC, the family doctor, and with DMV Management, our member was approved for telework and is earning a salary and able to care for a young child.
WIN: DMV Members Breathe Easy After Fast Action by
At a time when the air quality index was well over 200 (“extremely unhealthy”), a number of DMV workers were desperately complaining that they were being made to stand outside for many hours at a time (some of them “all day”), to help customers, and being forced to breathe the filthy, hazardous air—even with their masks.
Despite the conditions and several members who had health issues that increased their susceptibility to bad air, DMV office managers claimed they were helpless to intervene.
Our representatives at the URC contacted DMV’s Labor Relations Officer (LRO), calling the situation unhealthy and unacceptable. A grievance was threatened, but the LRO called and ordered the managers to take steps to schedule employees for shorter outdoor stints and to be mindful of the extreme conditions members were facing.
WIN: Vacation Denial Reversed for Prison
One of our members—a Registered Nurse working at a SoCal prison—was recently denied a vacation request by her supervisor, who said “there are too many RN vacancies, sorry.” She engaged with her workplace job steward, who communicated with the prison’s Labor Relations representative. Local 1000 argued the denial was unreasonable, and during the conversation, the prison Nursing Director realized there was a vacation spot available for our member. The denial was overturned, and the vacation was allowed.
WIN – Unpaid MSA Correction Delivers Back Pay,
When a member’s rightfully-earned MSA went unpaid by the Department of Industrial Relations, our Union Resource Center was asked to help. Remarkably, the raise had gone unpaid despite the department’s admission of the error. Even with the URC and the agency’s Labor Relations representative involved, the correction still took several months to resolve. In the end, our member received the correct salary, back pay, and interest.
WIN – Unreasonable Working Conditions Resolved at
A Southern California DMV office moved its “Start Here” desk outdoors in response to the pandemic. Our members were required to stand and interact with customers, obtain information, and provide a service ticket. The members were provided no water and insufficient chairs for every employee. Arguments about chair usage and who could sit decreased morale. An office supervisor denied water because of “concerns related to COVID-19.” Despite the obvious issue, and contract language that protects employees against heat illness, it took several rounds of communication with DMV, but our members received sufficient chairs, a revised outdoor schedule, and water to drink.
If you feel your rights are being violated, contact your local steward or call the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866-471-SEIU (7348).
You can learn more about your rights and read your contract
online – it’s searchable! –