Bargaining Unit 3 Enewsletter
This is the first of the Bargaining Unit 3 bi-monthly informational letters. As in past newsletters, this e-publication will be used to keep Unit 3 members informed about what is happening, our contractual rights and how to enforce our contract. Of course, I want you to contact me with anything you may want to add: an explanation of a specific contract section, giving a shout out to someone or a special conference/book/tool that you think everyone should know about. Feel free to send it to me.
I’d like to start by telling you a little more about who I am and why I choose to be a leader in our union. I am a teacher at CSP-Corcoran and have worked there since 2010. Prior to Corcoran, I worked at SATF for 5 years. I have been a job steward for over 10 years and was a member of the bargaining team for the current contract. I chose to be a leader in our union because I saw that management was being fast and loose with our contract. Because I didn’t have more than a passing knowledge of our contract, I took the training to become a job steward. Since then I have become an activist in enforcing our contract.
I want to hear from you all about your ideas for the upcoming negotiations. And just so you know, I have a habit of asking questions. I don’t want you to just say, for example, “more money.” Why do you believe more money is justified? What facts support your request? How are you going to engage your coworkers around the issue? My intent is not to dissuade, but to have a better understanding of what is being proposed and how we can build the leverage needed in the worksites to make the gains we want at the bargaining table.
Probably the most important event in the past few years for organized labor was the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, a decision that will have long-ranging effects on organized labor. SEIU Local 1000 began planning for this decision over 2 years ago. We established policies and procedures to address possible issues that will arise. One example is our response to the right-to-work groups that have been very active in attempting to get member’s personal information. Access to your personal information has been restricted even further by the union to prevent it from being used in a manner that you have not agreed to.
On a more personal note, I want to give a shout out to my school, Visions Adult School at CSP-Corcoran. In June, we had a graduating class of about 90 including high school diplomas, high school equivalencies, vocational certifications and college graduates. In addition to students giving speeches, some local dignitaries also spoke. It was a great day.
As you know, every few years we renew our contract, and next year we are going back to the negotiating table with the state. As we get closer to that time, you will be asked to give your input via our bargaining survey or town halls or asked to attend a meeting or rally. The louder our voices and the more focused our voices, the better we are.
This spring we had a win. CMC in San Luis Obispo filed a grievance regarding contract section 10.33.3 because the institutional OPs were not in compliance. They were told to rewrite their OP so it is in compliance. This is something we can use at other facilities to enforce our contract.
We have scheduled a meeting on October 30th to continue conversations with the CDCR-OCE management team about our members’ concerns about the CalPIA program. Last summer, we had conversations with our members and with the CDCR-OCE team about the PIA program, and this is an opportunity to continue the discussion. As we prepare for this meeting, we want to hear from you about your concerns with the program so we are bringing members’ voices into the meeting with us. Please direct your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org
On November 3rd & 4th, there will be an SBAC meeting in San Jose. If you’re in the area or just curious, I invite you to come as a visitor and be part of the Unit 3 meetings on Sunday. Contact your DLC President and see if they can sponsor you.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR CONTRACT
One of my goals as Chair is to help you to have a better understanding of our 481 page contract. I want you all to have a good understanding of our contract so you can be your own advocate and advocate for your coworkers. If you don’t know the rules, how can you know the other side is playing by the rules?
I plan to highlight a different contract section in each newsletter. I will also include sections of the contract that members have brought to my attention because management may be ignoring it or they have their own interpretation. Let me know which sections you’d like to know more about.
The first contract section I want to bring up is contract section 2.2 regarding steward access to members. Paragraph B of the section says the state cannot prevent a union representative from seeing a member except in certain circumstances. Even then, other arrangements must be made. In short, if you want a representative with you during any meeting that can have a negative impact on your employment, you get one.
In closing, remember to always follow the directions of your supervisor. The general rule is “obey now, grieve later.”
Bargaining Unit 3 Chair
SEIU 1000 Office: 916.554.1385
Cell #: 916.524.0259