Local 1000 Member Leader John Moore Helps JLMC Task Force Improve Working Conditions at SCIF
In all his years working at the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF), John Moore has always been one to speak up whenever he’s seen an injustice. As an SEIU Local 1000 steward, this instinct has helped him navigate the various aspects of state work, especially contracts, that impact members’ lives. One of the arenas he’s been able to serve as a voice for members is on the Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC), a task force committee comprised of union members and department managers.
“The goals of the JLMC are to foster dialogue between frontline employees and upper management on issues that are systemic throughout the organization,” said Moore. This platform is important, since a huge range of everyday issues come up and are addressed through the JLMC, from health and safety concerns to policy and procedure problems.
As Chairperson for the committee, John works with member representatives to help direct issues being discussed and find solutions to problems. “One of our more successful victories had to do with implementation of new procedures and having management consider the unintended consequences by asking member input prior to full implementation,” he said. “This alone has benefited both members and management by avoiding unnecessary confusion and stress when tackling new tasks or policies.“
One new mechanism for solving these issues is the Taskforce’s recent member survey. After realizing there was a major issue with members achieving a healthy life/work balance, John and the other committee members sought to address these problems, as well as member relationships with frontline supervisors and increased workloads. As Moore explained, “The goal of the survey is to solicit information from the members that is not filtered by middle management and present this to upper management in a collaborative manner in order to find solutions to problems that are acceptable to the parties involved.”
These issues could not be more timely. As the state nears the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing issues between management and staff need to be addressed. “Upper management has expressed their desire to be flexible with employees during a crisis such as this,” Moore said. “We’re asking members if they are receiving that flexibility on a day-to-day basis. Is your supervisor recognizing extreme stress levels? Does your supervisor allow time for you to handle issues that may come up in a home office environment that wouldn’t while in an office environment? Does your supervisor trust you to be productive while working at home? Do you have a trust-based relationship with your direct supervisor? Are you allowed time off without guilt due to coverage issues for your coworkers?”
These are tough questions that members may feel unable to bring up to management directly, but the answers affect all state workers. Without facing these issues head on, we will not be able to maintain a safe, healthy work environment in the future. Tackling these issues today ensures that old problems don’t go unaddressed in a post-COVID world, and that our worksites and members achieve a better balance in that transition.