Can we get a Cost-of-Living Increase (COLA) in our Next Contract?


We are working already to prepare our Local 1000 Bargaining Team to negotiate a new contract next year. With inflation on the rise, many of our represented employees are asking whether a COLA—cost-of-living Increase—can be added.

“Getting COLA into our contract is a heavy lift, but also a great thing to accomplish,” said Bill Hall, SEIU Local 1000 Board Chair. “While we want to fight to get COLA back into our contract, any negotiation involves a give and take that we need to address. We need to strategize on where in our contract we bend and where we stand firm.”

“It’s essential that right now we focus on building power on our side of the table. We can’t ask the State for something. We have to fight for it,” said Hall.

A strong membership—and a strong presence in the worksite—is essential for winning a good contract.

“To be frank, we need more leverage. We need something that the State can’t ignore. Membership is an unavoidable obstacle for the State,” continued Hall. “They cannot ignore tens of thousands of workers who have the freedom to discuss tactics like work stoppages. The State’s negotiating team tracks our membership. When it dips, they see us as lacking power to negotiate, and when membership is high, they’re more likely to listen to our demands.

“Growing our membership numbers is the best path to winning what we need. One thing we mentioned are the four Ds the State uses to take over the bargaining process: divide, delay, distract, and demoralize. The State has weaponized a lot of distractions to defeat us in the past.”

“We need to get the message out that the only way to win COLA is if we fight for it,” Hall said.