Unit 20 Bargaining Update for Monday, July 29, 2019
Unit 20 Fights to Enhance Working Conditions and Quality of Life
On Monday, July 29, 2019, our Unit 20 bargaining team once again returned to the table to continue the fight for a California for All. The team proposed language that would substantially improve the post and bid process to make it more equitable and more transparent for Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) and Certified Nurses Assistants (CNA) across the board, including post and bid language for medical assistance, a first ever occurrence.
The session included poignant direct testimony from two of our Registered Dental Assistants Colleen Myers and Laura Hernandez with California Correctional Healthcare Services (CCHCS) . There testimonies epitomize what has become a familiar story, whereby despite California’s status as the fifth largest economy in the world, state workers struggle to make ends meet. “Dental assistants aren’t trying to get rich,” said Ms. Hernandez. “We’re just trying to survive.”
After listening to the hardships Ms. Myers and Ms. Hernandez have lived through over the course of their careers, Unit 20 proposed language that would shorten the time it takes an RDA to reach the top of their pay scale from the current 15 years to 5. According to Ms. Hernandez, the change would substantially change the quality of life for her family. “Revising the pay tier structure would mean I can afford to pay that medical bill for my emergency appendectomy and purchase a new car.”
“We also made solid progress toward preserving 15 articles of hard-fought rights for our Medical and Social Specialists, including provisions covering Education and Training Opportunities and Assaultive Response Training,” said Luisa Leuma, Unit 20 bargaining chair.
Unit 20 further requested to add redirect to the floating language. This is important because SEIU members are often floated into another classification within another bargaining unit’s position, but they aren’t fluid. That means LVNs, CNAs, and Medical Assistants are required to cover the other classification’s position, which is paid a higher rate, but the employee in question doesn’t need to reciprocate.
The next meeting for Unit 20 will be a joint table with Unit 17 and 20 to tackle issues such as mandatory overtime and vacation scheduling.