Telework Bargaining Resumes April 27 Under New Leadership
Our new leadership has been working since March 7 to get back to the table on telework after outgoing President Richard Louis Brown failed to listen to members and reach an agreement. We’ve been able to re-start the process and are returning to bargaining with the state on April 27.
“Negotiating telework is our top priority right now,” said SEIU Local 1000 Board Chair Bill Hall. “COVID cases continue to rise while management turns a blind eye to these concerns. The State reaps a large savings by having people telework because teleworking saves money, as Local 1000 showed in our Cost Savings Task Force back in 2020 when the pandemic started.”
Our telework bargaining was stymied by proposals and counter-proposals focused on a stipend and how it would be calculated and disbursed. This approach deadlocked our negotiations, but as the overwhelming majority of our represented employees have said, our primary concern should be the ability for workers to safely and comfortably do their jobs without interference from management or being subject to arbitrary return-to-office dictates. We intend to build on the existing side letters from Units 2, 7, 9, 10, 12, and 13 (which you can view here) to bring a comprehensive plan to the State.
“One of the things driving our negotiation around telework—and this is not often mentioned by the State—is that returning to the office immediately imposes an increase in expenses. Over the last 2 years most people have rolled that cost into their cost of living and are using that money to live on,” added Hall.
“We are in a unique position to protect telework for employees in our coming contract. However, a culture of control and a focus on the State’s power over employees has distracted management from the benefits of telework. We will not back down from their opposition. We see no reasonable reason for the State to oppose telework.”
If you are experiencing pressure from management to return to the office, or reach out to our Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348) or get in touch with your DLC leadership on our website to make them aware of what’s happening in your workplace.
To win comprehensive telework, represented employees are encouraged to reach out to Irene Green, our Vice President for Bargaining at IGreen@SEIU1000.org to talk about getting involved in your workplace and to amplify the call for telework at the negotiating table.