Bargaining Unit 3 October 2015 Newsletter


BU 3 includes about a thousand correctional librarians and teachers, about four hundred State Special Schools educators, about a hundred teachers in hospitals and developmental centers, about a dozen teachers in the Orientation Center for the Blind, and a handful of teachers working in the Starbase Academy program, employed by the California Military Department.

BU 3 members can communicate with their bargaining team though their locally elected District Bargaining Unit Representative (DBUR).  To get in touch with a DBUR or for any other type of union information, please call the SEIU 1000 Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866-471-SEIU (7348).  BU 3 also has an email address:

OCE’s 2015/2016 Academic Calendars

The Academic Calendar for 2015/2016 has begun with a series of complaints about supervisors not allowing teachers to schedule and use the “flexible” feature of the calendar.  The days are NOT vacation time, which would generate “S” time for the students; they are part of the 220 day calendar’s Regular Day Off quota, that generates no time whatsoever.  The only caveat to using the “flex” time is that you schedule it for use, using the normal procedure that you would use for requesting Personal Necessity Days (3 per year, up to a maximum of 6), or Professional Development Days (2 per year).  If a supervisor refuses to allow a teacher to use the flex days, they must substantiate, in writing, extreme operational necessity. 

For more information on the Academic Calendar and the “Flex” days, please see the following link:  If you have submitted the appropriate paperwork to schedule the use of your “flex” time, and your supervisor has refused to accommodate the use of it, let your steward or DBUR know immediately.  Don’t just roll over and play dead. 

Speaking of Stewards and DBURs

The roles of the Steward and the District Bargaining Unit Representative (DBUR) are essential to the functioning of the union at the jobsite and the bargaining table. 

When you feel your rights are being violated by management, the first person that should be available to assist you is the job steward.  He, or she, is the first line in the defense of our members and our contract .  Under Article 2 of the contract, the steward deals with management as equals.  If management tries to retaliate against a steward over the performance of their duties, there are remedies, some of which could be quite severe. 

A DBUR is a steward who has taken the additional responsibility in the District Labor Council (DLC) of representing the Bargaining Unit at the state level in the Statewide Bargaining Advisory Committee (SBAC).  The members of the Bargaining Unit Negotiating Council (BUNC), are DBURs elected from the  SBAC, giving the members of the individual bargaining unit a voice in the bargaining process with the State.  They also represent the members in smaller negotiations that concern changes in working conditions and job qualifications, called “Meet and Confers”.  Some of these meetings concern comparatively small groups of state employees, or, they can affect entire agencies.  Meet and Confers occur on a regular basis, concerning many issues. 

These individuals sacrifice time and effort on behalf of the members and are very important to the operation of the union.  Currently, there are 14 DLCs that have no representation for Unit 3.  If you are a steward in one of these DLCs, please consider stepping up and volunteering to fill that vacancy.  If you are not yet a steward and considered a leader among your peers, consider applying to the Leadership Apprentice Program for Stewards (LAPS) to become one.

However, the responsibility of being familiar with the provisions of our contract is the responsibility of EVERYONE! 

Filing Grievances

When filing a grievance, it is imperative that you call the MRC, regardless of whether you have experience in filing grievances on your own or  have a competent steward filing it for you.  The MRC tracks the number, type and frequency of grievances filed to help us at the bargaining table. 

Many times we have proposed language at the bargaining table that will create a better working environment or solidify our status in the workplace, however, the State has looked at us and smiled as they have passed the proposal back across the table, saying, “There is no record of this being a problem that needs to be dealt with.”   

The MRC’s ability to keep a running record of grievances gives us, as your representatives, the information we need to be able to prove the State wrong and helps your bargaining team negotiate  a better contract.


Your BUNC consists of the following DBUR’s:
Chairman:  Bruce Theel, High Desert State Prison, Susanville, CA (CDCR)
Vice Chair:  John Kern, CA Rehabilitation Center, Norco, CA (CDCR)
Alt. Vice Chair: Suzanne Knapp, CA Men’s Colony, San Luis Obispo, CA (CDCR)
BUNC Member:  Terry Hibbard, CA State Prison, Corcoran, CA (CDCR)
BUNC Member:  Sulghi Hong, School for the Deaf, Fremont, CA (CDE)