Bargaining team preparing for the future
Working to build power for 2016 negotiations


Building power in the community, facing challenges and developing union leaders were key themes of last week’s meeting of the Statewide Bargaining Advisory Council (SBAC) in Southern California.

Nearly 200 elected bargaining representatives from up and down California—including the 60-plus members who negotiate our contract with the state—meet three times each year to develop strategies for bargaining and to understand and respond to issues that affect our lives at work and at home.

Meeting looming challenges

Our bargaining representatives learned about the threats posed to public sector unions by upcoming Supreme Court cases and how those threats would impact our ability to bargain from a position of power over the hard-earned rights in our contract.

Bargaining team members discussed how to build union strength to ensure that our biggest bargaining tool—a strong, active membership—would stay strong for 2016 negotiations.

The team also discussed strategies to expand that same union strength into our communities to build strong, effective alliances with other organizations on outside issues.

“We’re working now to expand our reach into communities to build partnerships in the fight for social and economic justice,” said Margarita Maldonado, Local 1000 vice president for bargaining. “We’ve already started to leverage relationships with community organizations to lift up the quality of life for all Californians, and that power will make us stronger at the bargaining table.”

Developing leaders

President Walker led a workshop for SBAC members on how to hone their leadership skills as they develop as bargaining representatives and how to extend their reach into our worksites. She spoke about the four habits of successful leaders: reflecting, leading with a vision, relating and connecting, and creating experiences.

“We’re doing the work we need to do now to prepare for bargaining and to face other looming challenges,” said Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker. “We must develop new leaders, engage new activists and new members who are willing to stand with us to promote our values and raise the quality of life for the middle class.”