Having a strong union means having the power to protect our rights and enforce our contract, and our online search tool allows our members easy-to-use access to the hundreds of contract articles that govern our wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Throughout the year, our members, working in concert with front-line job stewards and our Union Resource Center, pushed back against contract violations. We often reported wins on behalf of a good number of the 100,000 state employees we represent.

Here are some recent examples of representational wins we’ve achieved for our members:

WIN: Bereavement Leave Granted Properly after Management Reads Contract

One of our Bay Area DMV members was recently denied full use of a bereavement day, instructed instead to treat the bereavement leave like a dentist appointment and return to the office after the service. Taking immediate action, our URC first spoke with the member’s immediate supervisor, and then the office manager, neither of whom were familiar with our plain-language contract provisions for bereavement leave. After being directed to DMV labor relations, management approved the bereavement leave as described in the contract.

WIN: Vacation Denial Reversed for Prison RN

One of our members—a Registered Nurse working at a SoCal prison—was recently denied a vacation request by her supervisor, who said “there are too many RN vacancies, sorry.” She engaged with her workplace job steward, who communicated with the prison’s labor relations representative. Local 1000 argued the denial was unreasonable, and during the conversation, the prison Nursing Director realized there was a spot available for our member. The denial was overturned, and the vacation was allowed.

WIN – Unpaid MSA Correction Delivers Back Pay, Interest

When a member’s rightfully-earned MSA went unpaid by the Department of Industrial Relations, our Union Resource Center was asked to help. Remarkably, the raise had gone unpaid despite the department’s admission of the error. Even with the URC and the agency’s labor relations representative involved, the correction still took several months to resolve. At the end, our member received the correct salary, back pay, and interest.

Are you looking for information about vacation accrual? Rules regarding sick leave? How to take advantage of upward mobility programs in your department? The answers are just a click away at contract.seiu1000.org

Understanding and protecting our hard-earned rights is both a benefit and a responsibility we all share. And when management fails to observe our rights, our members, job stewards, and our Union Resource Center work together to ensure the contract is enforced.

If you feel your rights are being violated, contact your local steward, or call the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).

You can learn more about your rights and read your contract online – it’s searchable! – at contract.seiu1000.org