Governor Newsom Cease and Desist
On July 28, I instructed the Local 1000 Chief Counsel to deliver a cease-and-desist letter to CalHR concerning a mandate the Governor delivered through a press conference on July 27. The method of delivery for this directive and the absence of any details gives us great cause for concern.
Under the Governor’s plan, state employees will be required to provide proof of vaccination status or be subjected to weekly COVID-19 tests. While it is within the Governor’s authority to conduct the business of the state it doesn’t give him the right to bypass our contract and endanger the health and safety of the people we represent.
The Ralph C. Dills Act is the Government Code (Sections 3512 through 3524) that sets the terms for collective bargaining on issues such as wages, hours, and conditions of employment. The Act requires the State and employee representatives to “meet and confer in good faith” and to endeavor to reach agreement on these matters. Governor Newsom’s unilateral decree is not only anti- democratic, it violates the contract. SEIU Local 1000 represents nearly 100,000 state employees across California under this collective bargaining agreement.
Many of our represented employees have been teleworking since last year, while many other employees did not have a choice. Regardless of your work location the Governor’s shoot-from-the-hip plan appears to be very cobbled together. We should expect the same disorientation as the Governor’s Stay-At-Home order last March when he left individual agencies to work out the details, except this time it involves sticking large cotton swabs up employees’ noses.
As your President, my #1 concern is for the health and safety of the employees I represent and their families. A press conference is not a substitute for a bargaining table discussion and doesn’t answer the multitude of questions our members have about their working conditions, nor should it. Only by forcing the Governor to the bargaining table can we begin to get answers and set conditions that will protect, and respect, all state employees.
What did the $1 million buy?
I’m not going to retread old issues except to ask, do you still think playing politics helps? What difference does it make when both political parties take from you?
If you recall the final days of President Walker’s term in office, the Board of Directors (BOD) rushed to donate $1 million to the SEIU State Council, which is in opposition to the recall of Governor Newsom. Is this how you would expect to be treated by someone who gives you a million dollar blank check?
Past Governors have come to expect a certain laissez-faire with Local 1000. I can guarantee this for our members—the status quo has changed.
As of this writing neither the Governor nor CalHR has contacted our office to hold a meet and confer.
Richard Louis Brown
SEIU Local 1000