Unit 15 bargaining update for July 13, 2023

Your Unit 15 bargaining team is reaching out to give you an update on our negotiations on behalf of the Allied Services Workers we represent. Our last Unit 15 bargaining session with the State was on June 25. A number of Unit 15 proposals are still outstanding, and another group of Unit 15-related proposals—largely economic—are being negotiated at the master table.

Want a more detailed Unit 15 bargaining update? Join us on one of two Zoom calls on Monday, July 24. Use the link below to sign on. **Please note: no registration is necessary.

Here are some things you need to know:

Where does bargaining go from here?
Watch this July 13 video message from Irene Green, Local 1000 Vice President for Bargaining.

Unit-specific bargaining, along with negotiations at the master table, are being scheduled on a day-to-day basis. When there’s activity at the table, we’ll email and post the results, often on the same day. Click here to read all the recaps of bargaining activity.

What is the status of our contract?
As you know, we have not yet reached an overall tentative agreement on a new contract with the State. Our rights are still protected under the terms of our previous contract, which expired on June 30. Please remember that the $260 health care stipend had a June 30 sunset clause, and will not be included in your August paycheck. That issue is part of our current negotiations.

You can read about your current contract rights in this mobile-friendly, searchable database.=

What actions can I take to win a good contract?
As the bargaining team works to achieve meaningful progress at the table, it’s important that we keep our focus on Union solidarity and strength building. It’s true, that in order for our demands to be heard, Local 1000-represented employees need to stand together. More than ever, taking action in the workplace is an important show of strength. More actions will follow, but stand up now for a contract that Respects Us! Protects Us! and Pays Us!

Stay informed with all the bargaining news at our Contract Action Central web page.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Sunday, June 25, 2023

Weekends matter to all of us as we strive for work/life balance. But when our Unit 15 workers face mandated overtime on the last day of the workweek, it throws that balance out of whack. Today, after a long battle and many counterproposals, we recorded a big win that helps ensure a work/life balance.

We reached tentative agreement with the State on two big contract sections (19.13.15 and 19.14.15). Our new language governs the distribution and assignment of overtime shifts, making it fairer and more mindful of our “weekends.”

These wins about overtime scheduling include a clearer definition of what a “double” shift is and when they may or may not be assigned during the workweek. What’s more, the new language compels supervisors to make a more thorough effort in making overtime assignments, including the supervisor himself or herself covering an overtime shift.

Respect for the work/life balance is a key priority of our members, as we learned during the town halls and in the bargaining surveys. In alignment with that priority, we also reached agreement on another contract section.

Article 8.x.15 – Vacation Bid Scheduling, adds guidance to the vacation scheduling process, offering our members more flexibility and certainty in taking their hard-earned vacation

“As we reach the end of bargaining, these hard-fought wins are particularly sweet,” said Unit 15 Chair Eric Murray. “Our Allied Service workers often labor in difficult conditions, so to be able to grant them some much-needed clarification on these issues is important.”

With just a few days remaining before our contract expires, Unit 15 is on standby to meet once again with the State to resolve outstanding issues. When we meet, you’ll read it here first!

To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

Winning a good contract starts with you. Don’t just belong to the Union, participate. Tell CalHR to Respect Us, Protect Us, and Pay Us. And sign up for our Silent Protest March in Sacramento on June 29.

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 29 Silent Protest March at the Capitol in Sacramento here.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, June 19, 2023

With a short ten days remaining until our current contract expires, our Unit 15 team reports some additional engagement by the State’s negotiating team—but not enough, and no real progress on the key economic issues identified by the Allied Service workers we represent.

Three of our money proposals have been moved to master table negotiations, covering SSAs and a boost in uniform allowance. We’re frustrated that the State hasn’t been forthcoming with explanations as we seek to understand the other side’s position after almost 9 weeks of bargaining. We received no other proposals from the State today.

In many cases, our working conditions are priorities for our Unit 15 members, and in Monday’s session, we focused our energy on reaching solutions on two issues: overtime distribution and re-directed assignments.

Too often, our represented employees don’t get offered an opportunity to work overtime shifts, and our bargaining team and Unit 15 leaders have long been fighting for contract language that supports equitable access to OT shifts.

“We’re demanding that the State apply simple fairness to a wholly unfair process,” said Brent Andrews of the Unit 15 bargaining team. “We’ve shared a number of compelling stories that illustrate the lost economic opportunity for our members.”

The fight for positive change in access to overtime assignments continues, and we’re not finished. At the same time, the State is resistant to our demand for stronger language to protect our members from being redirected to or “cross-covering” working assignments outside their normal duties. Here, too, the process continues, and our team is planning the next steps.

We reached agreement to update the language on one provision with the State, which will increase the number of departments committing to provide proper training on infectious diseases and blood-borne pathogens:10.25.15 – Infectious Disease Control

We reached agreement with the State on three additional  existing provisions that preserve the rights we won in previous contract campaigns:

  • 10.33.15 – Laundry and Kitchen Temperature and Visibility
  • 15.2.15 – Joint Labor Management Appeal of Voluntary Transfer
  • 11.16.15 -Cook’s Classification

Unit 15 will return to the table on Monday, June 26. To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

If you are, help support bargaining teams by purpling up on Wednesday and attending our upcoming rally in Los Angeles on June 22.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, June 12, 2023

There was some movement at the Unit 15 bargaining table today as the State negotiators broke their own logjam and provided some incremental responses to our proposals.

“We think the State heard our frustration, and while we didn’t reach any agreements today, we are encouraged by the State’s movement,” said Eric Murray, Unit 15 hair. “We can begin having some dialog about issues of importance to the Allied Service workers we represent.”

Today, the State returned counter proposals on five different contract sections. Our Unit 15 team is diligently reviewing the changes and evaluating the impacts any changes will have on our members.

“We’re working on contract sections that protect our working conditions, like overtime distribution and infectious disease control,” said Eric Murray. “These are key issues identified by Unit 15 at town halls and in bargaining surveys.”

Still, much work to achieve a good contract remains. Six proposals remain unanswered by the state.

You can read the details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

Unit 15 will return to the table on Monday, June 19. To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 22 Rally at the Governor’s Office in Los Angeles here.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, June 5, 2023

Unit 15 continues to press the State to advance the economics and working conditions of our Allied Service workers. While we made some important progress today, there remain more than 10 proposals still awaiting any kind of response from the State.

“Incremental progress is cause for optimism, but we can’t move forward on key Unit 15 issues without some kind of answer,” said Unit 15 Chair Eric Murray. “Negotiations are a two-way street, and it’s incumbent on the State to do their share.”

We’re working to address the State’s lack of reasonable timing when scheduling required training. Some supervisors are ignoring current contract language governing required training, and so our proposal for section 13.22.15 strengthens language to allow our represented workers to not only do their jobs well, but to reasonably and reliably schedule their personal commitments without interruption.

A similar, new proposal – 8.X.15 Vacation Scheduling Bid (CDCR/CCHCS) – offers a new procedure that will also improve our work/life balance. We heard our members when they said that management often ignores reasonable and common practice when scheduling time off, explaining “we don’t have it in writing.” We aim to improve this.

Today: Unit 15 reached tentative agreement with the State on three contract sections:

  • 13.19.15 – State Required Training
  • 13.22.15 – CDCR (Adult Programs) Training
  • 13.23.15 – CDCR Training (Juvenile Programs)

Of particular note: We pushed hard to win agreement on the training at DJJ.  Our members will be among the last workers as the state closes the juvenile facilities.  This ensures their training will be kept current for future work situations.

You can read the details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

Unit 15 will return to the table on Monday, June 12. In addition, we’ve made it clear to State negotiators we’re ready to meet at any time to foster progress. To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 8 March to the Governor’s mansion here

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, May 22, 2023

After consulting with their Master Table bargaining team colleagues last week, the Bargaining Unit 15 team met with the State for the fifth time to work on pass backs and hear counter offers on proposals the team has brought to the State in previous sessions.

The team presented one new proposal and three rollover proposals. The new proposal is:

  • 13.11.15 Joint Labor Management Committee on Upward Mobility and Career Development (Unit 15)

This proposal retains all the old language for this committee while adding several departments to make it more inclusive, bring more people to the table, and increase worker access to upward mobility. To do so, we are adding the following departments: the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the California Conservation Corps (CCC)

We also reached Tentative Agreement on three rollover proposals, including:

  • 14.12.15 Custodian Equipment (Unit 15)
  • 15.4.15 Employee Opportunity Transfer (Unit 15)
  • 13.23.15 CDCR Training (Juvenile Programs) (Unit 15)

Local 1000 and the State have gone back and forth about proposing to eliminate the language in 13.23.15. The juvenile programs have as yet not been eliminated, and until those programs are officially removed, the Unit 15 Team is insistent that the language will remain.

“We need to have economic discussions at the unit table in order to know what to propose for Tentative Agreement at the master table,” said Eric Murray, Bargaining Unit 15 Chair. As Murray pointed out, bargaining ground rules allow the State to deliver counter proposals on economics at the unit tables. However, only tentative agreements on economics need to be elevated and reached at the Master table. So, while it is important for economic discussions to take place at the unit tables to narrow down the issues sent to the master table, rejections of economics may take place at the unit table.

If the State is claiming any economic proposal, even a rollover—the hard-earned rights we’ve won in previous campaigns—it is considered a “new cost.” When this occurs, the State needs to be costing the unit proposals and bringing Department of Finance to the unit table to discuss.

If the State is looking to make changes to any of our current differential language in relation to the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA), the State needs to provide this counter as well.

The State has had eighteen months from the date when we were notified to conduct the research that demonstrates there is a legal necessity to change the status of any specific differential. Unless the State can prove changes are legally necessary, Local 1000 and the Unit 15 team has no intention of changing this language. “We are willing to meet as long as it takes to make movement with the Unit 15 proposals,” reiterated Murray. “It’s on the State to make the counter for us to be able to respond.”  

“We need to get some of these financial proposals back from the State,” said Garth Underwood, BU 15 Vice Chair and a CDCR Correctional Supervising Cook at Ironwood State Prison. “We can’t move anything much further until we start to see their counter offers. Unit 15 workers are the lowest paid employees in Local 1000, so the most important thing for allied service workers like us is money. The members have spoken. We need to see a significant raise.”  

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for June 5 due to the Memorial Day holiday. On Tuesday, May 23, bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 14, and 17 will once again meet with the State. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, May 24.

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 8 March to the Governor’s mansion here.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, May 15, 2023

Bargaining Unit 15, representing allied service workers from across the state, returned to the table today with the State to reiterate the importance of maintaining a high level of health and safety for our incarcerated population as well as the state employees serving them.  

The Unit 15 team reached a tentative agreement on rollover language for the section 13.31.15 20/20 programs (Unit 15), in turn leaving space for counter proposals from the State.

Redirects (BU 15)
The second proposal Unit 15 made to the State involves section XX.XX.XX – Redirects (Unit 15). The intent speaks to an issue that has arisen in Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) meetings regarding what has become an expectation for cooks to oversee food preparation and cooking while simultaneously maintaining quality control standards in multiple kitchens. The issue has arisen primarily due to chronic staff shortages, with what staff we do have being asked to do double duty.

“It’s not only a health and safety issue,” said unit chair Eric Murray. “It’s a food integrity issue as well. Asking our cooks to cover two or more groups of inmates at the same time unnecessarily puts all inmates at risk of food illness or injury. It’s difficult to supervise a meal for 500-1000 inmates. It’s impossible to be redirected—and held accountable to state standards—for twice that number.”

The rationale is simple. Unit 15 employees that work in a CDCR or CCHCS institution that have successfully bid for a position shall not be redirected from that position. If it becomes necessary to redirect under extreme emergencies, management shall fill the position with a 1st line supervisor first. However, if this is not possible, the post shall be filled by an employee who is working in a management-owned position. If it becomes necessary to redirect a BU 15 employee from their union post, management will follow the inverse seniority rotation.

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 22. On Tuesday, May 16, bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 14, and 17 will once again meet with the State. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, May 17.

To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, May 8, 2023

The Bargaining Unit 15 Negotiating Committee returned to the bargaining table on Monday, May 8, 2023, to demand the State of California respect, protect, and pay our allied service workers.

The debate was lively—and productive—as the team proposed and reached Tentative Agreement (TA) on several items and presented several additional important proposals to the State. The TAs included:

  • Article 10.9.15 – Safety Equipment and Safety Glasses/Goggles (Unit 15)
  • Article 21.26.15 – Custodial Routes (Unit 15)

The Tentative Agreement on Article 10.9.15 in particular represents a huge win for our 4,500+ SEIU Local 1000 civil service custodians, laundry workers, supervising cooks, and food service workers in California prisons and other state institutions.

The team was able to “rollover” the language with the stipulation that BU 15 employees can ask for additional safety equipment such as freezer gear coats. This means the higher authorities are recognizing that these are reasonable requests, and they will respond to them in a timely manner. Plus, if our Unit 15 workers are at a facility that holds safety meetings, our workers can address the issue directly with the Labor Relations Advocate (LRA) on site.

BU 15 Chair Eric Murray and the team also proposed new language for Article 21.26.15 that covered Section B. The State responded that when feasible, in the event of unanticipated staff shortages where staff are covering shortages in addition to those normally assigned, departments may initiate a modified cleaning program. “When feasible” is critically important because up to this point, the State has been utilizing our custodians to cover multiple routes, and now this new language opens up overtime to cover the routes or it becomes a modified route to cover minimal needs. This will relieve a significant burden for the worker in question.

Unit 15 made three additional proposals to the State, including:

  • Article 19.14.15 – Overtime Distribution for Employees (CDCR – Adult Programs) (Unit 15)
  • Article XX.XX.XX In Service Training Overtime (Unit 15)
  • Article 10.25.15 – Infectious Disease Control (Unit 15)
  • Article 11.16.15 – Cooks Classification (Unit 15) – rollover agreement proposal
  • Article 13.19.15 – State-Required Training (Unit 15) – rollover agreement proposal

“19.14.15 is an example of the important language we are implementing for our CSC’s working in the correction environment,” said Garth Underwood, BU 15 Vice Chair and a CDCR Correctional Supervising Cook at Ironwood State Prison. “It always has and always will be an issue. This proposal will correctly address a majority of the correction issues for our supervising cooks, and it shows that seniority matters.”

While fairly simple, 19.14.15 includes important clarifying language, including but not limited to the following changes:

  • In Section A, we remove “will endeavor to” and replace with “shall” reduce the amount of mandatory overtime.
  • In Section B, we recommend replacing “will” with “shall” be considered.
  • In Section C, we clarify and define the beginning and end of an employee’s RDO.
  • In Section D, we again remove “will” and replace with “shall” be required. We are moving two (2) “double” replacing with overtime shifts of any length within the employee’s scheduled workweek. No changes to Sections E, F, or G.
  • In Section H, we remove “will endeavor to” and replace with “shall” afford overtime…

You can read further details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

XX.XX.XX IST Overtime is a completely new concept for BU 15 that has been used by other units working within the California Department of Corrections (CDCR). As is generally acknowledged, Unit 15 classifications that work and attend IST in CDCR institutions post and bid for their spots. This process guarantees the employee their RDOs, shifts, and yard they work on. However, some management teams randomly remove their employees from their shift and adjust employee RDOs to ensure IST attendance. While employee training may be conducted during regular work hours or during the employee’s off-duty hours, we strongly believe employees should be compensated for their time, and no adjustments should be made unless the employee is requesting this change.

The team made an additional proposal for overtime checks that was rejected. The reason given by the State is as follows:

Due to the fact that we are transitioning to bi-weekly pay, the State does not want to add contract language that references the new system and thus potentially affect our overtime language. Per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there is no requirement that an overtime check has to be delivered by the 15th of the month. However, the California State Payroll (CSP) system will strive to do so.

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 15. On Tuesday, May 9, bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 14, and 17 will return to the table. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, May 10.

To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, May 1, 2023

On Monday, May 1, 2023, the Unit 15 Bargaining team once again met with the State in an effort to get the 4,500+ hard-working SEIU Local 1000 allied service workers across California the respect, workplace protection, and pay they deserve.

The team proposed and reached Tentative Agreement (TA) on the following two rollover language items:

  • 9.19.15 – Light/Limited Duty Assignments (Unit 15)
  • 10.34.15 – Building Temperature During Night Shift (Unit 15)

You can read the details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

Unit 15 made one additional proposal to the State:

  • 19.13.15 Overtime Distribution for Employees (Excluding CDCR-Adult Programs) (Unit 15)

The team began by explaining the importance of this proposal, a point not lost on BU 15 members. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that this proposal is every bit as important as money to our allied service workers,” said BU 15 Chair Eric Murray.

The proposal itself is fairly simple, with the team working to keep the original intent of this language while clarifying and making the language more definitive, including:

  • Adding new language in Section A stating that management shall utilize the voluntary system before resorting to the involuntary system.
     
  • Removing “endeavor to” from the language in Section C, which states the department shall refrain from assigning employee’s mandatory overtime on the employee’s Regular Day Off (RDO). In this same section the team detailed the beginning and end of an employee’s RDO.
     
  • Changing the language in Section D from “(2) double shifts” to “overtime shifts of any length” within the employee’s scheduled workweek.

Sections E, F, G remain unchanged.

While the conversation between the State and BU 15 has been professional and productive, Murray was quick to share the credit. “While we’ve given some impactful statements, the work our members and leadership team has done is responsible for getting us to this point. We’ve had these conversations in our Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) meetings, so discussing mandatory overtime and overtime distribution is not something new. The State knows what we’re talking about and they know it’s a problem. There’s only so much overtime our employees can work,” added Murray, a sentiment the State seemed to take to heart.

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 8. On Tuesday, May 2, bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 14, and 17 will return to the table. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, May 3.

To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, April 24, 2023

The Unit 15 Bargaining team, led by Chair Eric Murray, once again met with the State on Monday, April 24. It was a difficult but productive day for the team, which signed seven Tentative Agreements (TAs) and presented numerous high priority proposals demanding that the State show the 4,500+ SEIU Local 1000 allied service workers across the state the monetary respect they deserve.

Joseph Kochetta, a custodian who has worked for the California Department of General Services (DGS) for seven (7) years and now works in the crime lab, spelled out his value loud and clear while discussing the hardships he faces on a daily basis. “We’re not unskilled labor,” said Kochetta. “We have a multitude of training processes that we go through, including Covid-related, in order to keep the labs clean and safe for the technicians. We deal with blood and air-borne pathogens, and if we don’t do things the right way, evidence gets thrown out.”

“We supervise inmate workers by guiding and training them,” added Murray. “We prepare them for their future outside of prison by giving them a solid job skill to be productive members of society.”

The team presented several proposals, including:

  • 12.11.15 Uniform replacement Allowance (Unit 15)
    • Moved $1,000 uniform allowance
    • $200 tax-free shoe allowance
    • Allocates $1,500 for CSC’s
    • California Prison Industry Authority (PIA) Custodians to receive a set amount of uniforms 
  • 21.26.15 Custodial Routes (Unit 15)
    • The team added a new paragraph that addresses staff shortages to ensure departments include a modified cleaning program when short of staff to prevent multiple duties during their scheduled shifts. Custodial staff is currently asked to cover other areas, leading to back-to-back eight (8) hour shifts in one day.
  • 11.XX.15 Special Salary Adjustments (Custodial Alternative Range for Medical Cleaning (Unit 15)
    • This proposal features new language that eliminates the requirements of supervisors to add paperwork to time cards to prove inmates are wards, thus streamlining the process. The proposal also adds $110 to inmate supervision pay.
  • 11.1.15 Special Salary Adjustments (Unit 15)
    • For custodians who work in 24-hour facilities, our position is that this work is more technical and complex than more traditional office-based custodial duties and merits higher pay. Our 24- hour custodians do a higher-level cleaning and require a higher level of skill due to the deeper hospital-level cleaning their job calls for. 

      The team proposed that the whole unit be uplifted 30% beginning on July 1, 2023. This reflects the difficulty in attracting and retaining employees because of the low pay in our classes.

The team also presented several rollover agreements, signaling our desire to leave the existing language unchanged and thus retain the hard-won rights from previous contract campaigns. These agreements include:

  1. 8.24.15 DDS Vacation Scheduling System for Common Level of Care (LOC) Nursing Staff in Bargaining Unit 15
  2. 11.22.15 INTENTIONALLY EXCLUDED
  3. 10.14.15 Personal Alarms-CDCR (Unit 15)
  4. 10.16.15 Alarm System: DDS and DSH (Unit 15)
  5. 10.20.15 Active Treatment Crisis Management, Therapeutic Strategies and Interventions Training or Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, (CPI) (Unit 15)
  6. 13.18.15 Employee Group Meeting (Unit 15)
  7. 19.33.15 Call-in Procedures (Unit 15)

The team also reported back to the State on the severity of their plight as a whole. “There is something horribly wrong with this picture,” said Susanna Redfearn, a Correctional Supervising Cook at Avenal State Prison. “How can an employee of the fourth largest economy in the world be threatened with homelessness? But the sobering truth is a lot of state employees face this threat every day. Making decisions on whether they put food on their table, pay a utility bill, or go to the doctor and pay for their medications. How is this even acceptable by those who have the power to change it, yet haven’t?”

“We took a 10% cut in pay while private sector grocery workers received a 10% raise during Covid,“ added Pete Garza, a Correctional Supervising Cook at Valley State Prison who has worked for the state for 19 years and never seen a significant raise.

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 1. On Tuesday, April 25, bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 14, and 17 will hold their second sessions at the table. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, May 3.

To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, April 17, 2023

On Monday, April 17, Bargaining Unit 15 met with State for the first time in 2023 to lift up the concerns of over 4,500 allied service workers across the state. The inaugural session was led by Bargaining Unit 15 Chair Eric Murray, who opened by making a heartfelt plea to the State concerning the value Unit 15 brings.

“All of our proposals that we will be presenting to you over the next several weeks are very meaningful and important to our membership and my team. Some may seem strange or exotic to your team, but they are very meaningful for our workers.” Murray’s words seemed to resonate well, and the State responded that they will seek to understand our unit issues, will ask for clarification if they don’t understand, and will consider all of the proposals we present.

The session featured two Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) Tentative Agreements (TA) that were not rollover language:

  • JLMC TA 5.16.15 applies to custodians and features clean-up language that adds new groups to the negotiating table for the first time, including custodians working for:
    • CA Highway Patrol
    • Employment Development Department
    • CA State Lottery
    • CA Dept. of Education
    • Dept. of Motor Vehicles
    • Dept. of Developmental Services
  • JLMC TA 5.18.15 applies to food service workers. Within our contract, we have two separate languages – one for the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) and one for everyone else. This TA adds the following departments to the latter group:
    • CalVet
    • CA Department of Education
    • CA Conservation Corps
    • CA Highway Patrol
    • Department of Developmental Services
    • Department of State Hospitals
  • This TA is also more inclusive in nature due to the fact that it adds one more representative seat to the non-service food workers

In addition to the Tentative Agreements, several subject matter experts came to the table to tell their stories to the State in person.

Karen Maddox-Long, who works for the Departmental of General Services (DGS) as a custodian within the LA metro area, told a poignant story that left listeners in tears. “The hiring process is so hard, it’s impossible to hire people. That means I end up cross-covering multiple jobs. We’re the backbone of the state. If we didn’t do what we do, the state — you — wouldn’t be sitting in a clean office.”

“My parking costs alone come to $880 a month, which is nearly half of my paycheck,” added Bill Suhar, who works for the DGS in Riverside.

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for April 24. On Tuesday, April 18, Bargaining units 1,3, 4, 14, and 17 will hold their first sessions at the table. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, April 19.

To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

Unit 15 bargaining update for July 13, 2023

Your Unit 15 bargaining team is reaching out to give you an update on our negotiations on behalf of the Allied Services Workers we represent. Our last Unit 15 bargaining session with the State was on June 25. A number of Unit 15 proposals are still outstanding, and another group of Unit 15-related proposals—largely economic—are being negotiated at the master table.

Want a more detailed Unit 15 bargaining update? Join us on one of two Zoom calls on Monday, July 24. Use the link below to sign on. **Please note: no registration is necessary.

Here are some things you need to know:

Where does bargaining go from here?
Watch this July 13 video message from Irene Green, Local 1000 Vice President for Bargaining.

Unit-specific bargaining, along with negotiations at the master table, are being scheduled on a day-to-day basis. When there’s activity at the table, we’ll email and post the results, often on the same day. Click here to read all the recaps of bargaining activity.

What is the status of our contract?
As you know, we have not yet reached an overall tentative agreement on a new contract with the State. Our rights are still protected under the terms of our previous contract, which expired on June 30. Please remember that the $260 health care stipend had a June 30 sunset clause, and will not be included in your August paycheck. That issue is part of our current negotiations.

You can read about your current contract rights in this mobile-friendly, searchable database.=

What actions can I take to win a good contract?
As the bargaining team works to achieve meaningful progress at the table, it’s important that we keep our focus on Union solidarity and strength building. It’s true, that in order for our demands to be heard, Local 1000-represented employees need to stand together. More than ever, taking action in the workplace is an important show of strength. More actions will follow, but stand up now for a contract that Respects Us! Protects Us! and Pays Us!

Stay informed with all the bargaining news at our Contract Action Central web page.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Sunday, June 25, 2023

Weekends matter to all of us as we strive for work/life balance. But when our Unit 15 workers face mandated overtime on the last day of the workweek, it throws that balance out of whack. Today, after a long battle and many counterproposals, we recorded a big win that helps ensure a work/life balance.

We reached tentative agreement with the State on two big contract sections (19.13.15 and 19.14.15). Our new language governs the distribution and assignment of overtime shifts, making it fairer and more mindful of our “weekends.”

These wins about overtime scheduling include a clearer definition of what a “double” shift is and when they may or may not be assigned during the workweek. What’s more, the new language compels supervisors to make a more thorough effort in making overtime assignments, including the supervisor himself or herself covering an overtime shift.

Respect for the work/life balance is a key priority of our members, as we learned during the town halls and in the bargaining surveys. In alignment with that priority, we also reached agreement on another contract section.

Article 8.x.15 – Vacation Bid Scheduling, adds guidance to the vacation scheduling process, offering our members more flexibility and certainty in taking their hard-earned vacation

“As we reach the end of bargaining, these hard-fought wins are particularly sweet,” said Unit 15 Chair Eric Murray. “Our Allied Service workers often labor in difficult conditions, so to be able to grant them some much-needed clarification on these issues is important.”

With just a few days remaining before our contract expires, Unit 15 is on standby to meet once again with the State to resolve outstanding issues. When we meet, you’ll read it here first!

To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

Winning a good contract starts with you. Don’t just belong to the Union, participate. Tell CalHR to Respect Us, Protect Us, and Pay Us. And sign up for our Silent Protest March in Sacramento on June 29.

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 29 Silent Protest March at the Capitol in Sacramento here.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, June 19, 2023

With a short ten days remaining until our current contract expires, our Unit 15 team reports some additional engagement by the State’s negotiating team—but not enough, and no real progress on the key economic issues identified by the Allied Service workers we represent.

Three of our money proposals have been moved to master table negotiations, covering SSAs and a boost in uniform allowance. We’re frustrated that the State hasn’t been forthcoming with explanations as we seek to understand the other side’s position after almost 9 weeks of bargaining. We received no other proposals from the State today.

In many cases, our working conditions are priorities for our Unit 15 members, and in Monday’s session, we focused our energy on reaching solutions on two issues: overtime distribution and re-directed assignments.

Too often, our represented employees don’t get offered an opportunity to work overtime shifts, and our bargaining team and Unit 15 leaders have long been fighting for contract language that supports equitable access to OT shifts.

“We’re demanding that the State apply simple fairness to a wholly unfair process,” said Brent Andrews of the Unit 15 bargaining team. “We’ve shared a number of compelling stories that illustrate the lost economic opportunity for our members.”

The fight for positive change in access to overtime assignments continues, and we’re not finished. At the same time, the State is resistant to our demand for stronger language to protect our members from being redirected to or “cross-covering” working assignments outside their normal duties. Here, too, the process continues, and our team is planning the next steps.

We reached agreement to update the language on one provision with the State, which will increase the number of departments committing to provide proper training on infectious diseases and blood-borne pathogens:10.25.15 – Infectious Disease Control

We reached agreement with the State on three additional  existing provisions that preserve the rights we won in previous contract campaigns:

  • 10.33.15 – Laundry and Kitchen Temperature and Visibility
  • 15.2.15 – Joint Labor Management Appeal of Voluntary Transfer
  • 11.16.15 -Cook’s Classification

Unit 15 will return to the table on Monday, June 26. To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

If you are, help support bargaining teams by purpling up on Wednesday and attending our upcoming rally in Los Angeles on June 22.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, June 12, 2023

There was some movement at the Unit 15 bargaining table today as the State negotiators broke their own logjam and provided some incremental responses to our proposals.

“We think the State heard our frustration, and while we didn’t reach any agreements today, we are encouraged by the State’s movement,” said Eric Murray, Unit 15 hair. “We can begin having some dialog about issues of importance to the Allied Service workers we represent.”

Today, the State returned counter proposals on five different contract sections. Our Unit 15 team is diligently reviewing the changes and evaluating the impacts any changes will have on our members.

“We’re working on contract sections that protect our working conditions, like overtime distribution and infectious disease control,” said Eric Murray. “These are key issues identified by Unit 15 at town halls and in bargaining surveys.”

Still, much work to achieve a good contract remains. Six proposals remain unanswered by the state.

You can read the details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

Unit 15 will return to the table on Monday, June 19. To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 22 Rally at the Governor’s Office in Los Angeles here.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, June 5, 2023

Unit 15 continues to press the State to advance the economics and working conditions of our Allied Service workers. While we made some important progress today, there remain more than 10 proposals still awaiting any kind of response from the State.

“Incremental progress is cause for optimism, but we can’t move forward on key Unit 15 issues without some kind of answer,” said Unit 15 Chair Eric Murray. “Negotiations are a two-way street, and it’s incumbent on the State to do their share.”

We’re working to address the State’s lack of reasonable timing when scheduling required training. Some supervisors are ignoring current contract language governing required training, and so our proposal for section 13.22.15 strengthens language to allow our represented workers to not only do their jobs well, but to reasonably and reliably schedule their personal commitments without interruption.

A similar, new proposal – 8.X.15 Vacation Scheduling Bid (CDCR/CCHCS) – offers a new procedure that will also improve our work/life balance. We heard our members when they said that management often ignores reasonable and common practice when scheduling time off, explaining “we don’t have it in writing.” We aim to improve this.

Today: Unit 15 reached tentative agreement with the State on three contract sections:

  • 13.19.15 – State Required Training
  • 13.22.15 – CDCR (Adult Programs) Training
  • 13.23.15 – CDCR Training (Juvenile Programs)

Of particular note: We pushed hard to win agreement on the training at DJJ.  Our members will be among the last workers as the state closes the juvenile facilities.  This ensures their training will be kept current for future work situations.

You can read the details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

Unit 15 will return to the table on Monday, June 12. In addition, we’ve made it clear to State negotiators we’re ready to meet at any time to foster progress. To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 8 March to the Governor’s mansion here

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, May 22, 2023

After consulting with their Master Table bargaining team colleagues last week, the Bargaining Unit 15 team met with the State for the fifth time to work on pass backs and hear counter offers on proposals the team has brought to the State in previous sessions.

The team presented one new proposal and three rollover proposals. The new proposal is:

  • 13.11.15 Joint Labor Management Committee on Upward Mobility and Career Development (Unit 15)

This proposal retains all the old language for this committee while adding several departments to make it more inclusive, bring more people to the table, and increase worker access to upward mobility. To do so, we are adding the following departments: the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the California Conservation Corps (CCC)

We also reached Tentative Agreement on three rollover proposals, including:

  • 14.12.15 Custodian Equipment (Unit 15)
  • 15.4.15 Employee Opportunity Transfer (Unit 15)
  • 13.23.15 CDCR Training (Juvenile Programs) (Unit 15)

Local 1000 and the State have gone back and forth about proposing to eliminate the language in 13.23.15. The juvenile programs have as yet not been eliminated, and until those programs are officially removed, the Unit 15 Team is insistent that the language will remain.

“We need to have economic discussions at the unit table in order to know what to propose for Tentative Agreement at the master table,” said Eric Murray, Bargaining Unit 15 Chair. As Murray pointed out, bargaining ground rules allow the State to deliver counter proposals on economics at the unit tables. However, only tentative agreements on economics need to be elevated and reached at the Master table. So, while it is important for economic discussions to take place at the unit tables to narrow down the issues sent to the master table, rejections of economics may take place at the unit table.

If the State is claiming any economic proposal, even a rollover—the hard-earned rights we’ve won in previous campaigns—it is considered a “new cost.” When this occurs, the State needs to be costing the unit proposals and bringing Department of Finance to the unit table to discuss.

If the State is looking to make changes to any of our current differential language in relation to the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA), the State needs to provide this counter as well.

The State has had eighteen months from the date when we were notified to conduct the research that demonstrates there is a legal necessity to change the status of any specific differential. Unless the State can prove changes are legally necessary, Local 1000 and the Unit 15 team has no intention of changing this language. “We are willing to meet as long as it takes to make movement with the Unit 15 proposals,” reiterated Murray. “It’s on the State to make the counter for us to be able to respond.”  

“We need to get some of these financial proposals back from the State,” said Garth Underwood, BU 15 Vice Chair and a CDCR Correctional Supervising Cook at Ironwood State Prison. “We can’t move anything much further until we start to see their counter offers. Unit 15 workers are the lowest paid employees in Local 1000, so the most important thing for allied service workers like us is money. The members have spoken. We need to see a significant raise.”  

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for June 5 due to the Memorial Day holiday. On Tuesday, May 23, bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 14, and 17 will once again meet with the State. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, May 24.

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 8 March to the Governor’s mansion here.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, May 15, 2023

Bargaining Unit 15, representing allied service workers from across the state, returned to the table today with the State to reiterate the importance of maintaining a high level of health and safety for our incarcerated population as well as the state employees serving them.  

The Unit 15 team reached a tentative agreement on rollover language for the section 13.31.15 20/20 programs (Unit 15), in turn leaving space for counter proposals from the State.

Redirects (BU 15)
The second proposal Unit 15 made to the State involves section XX.XX.XX – Redirects (Unit 15). The intent speaks to an issue that has arisen in Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) meetings regarding what has become an expectation for cooks to oversee food preparation and cooking while simultaneously maintaining quality control standards in multiple kitchens. The issue has arisen primarily due to chronic staff shortages, with what staff we do have being asked to do double duty.

“It’s not only a health and safety issue,” said unit chair Eric Murray. “It’s a food integrity issue as well. Asking our cooks to cover two or more groups of inmates at the same time unnecessarily puts all inmates at risk of food illness or injury. It’s difficult to supervise a meal for 500-1000 inmates. It’s impossible to be redirected—and held accountable to state standards—for twice that number.”

The rationale is simple. Unit 15 employees that work in a CDCR or CCHCS institution that have successfully bid for a position shall not be redirected from that position. If it becomes necessary to redirect under extreme emergencies, management shall fill the position with a 1st line supervisor first. However, if this is not possible, the post shall be filled by an employee who is working in a management-owned position. If it becomes necessary to redirect a BU 15 employee from their union post, management will follow the inverse seniority rotation.

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 22. On Tuesday, May 16, bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 14, and 17 will once again meet with the State. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, May 17.

To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, May 8, 2023

The Bargaining Unit 15 Negotiating Committee returned to the bargaining table on Monday, May 8, 2023, to demand the State of California respect, protect, and pay our allied service workers.

The debate was lively—and productive—as the team proposed and reached Tentative Agreement (TA) on several items and presented several additional important proposals to the State. The TAs included:

  • Article 10.9.15 – Safety Equipment and Safety Glasses/Goggles (Unit 15)
  • Article 21.26.15 – Custodial Routes (Unit 15)

The Tentative Agreement on Article 10.9.15 in particular represents a huge win for our 4,500+ SEIU Local 1000 civil service custodians, laundry workers, supervising cooks, and food service workers in California prisons and other state institutions.

The team was able to “rollover” the language with the stipulation that BU 15 employees can ask for additional safety equipment such as freezer gear coats. This means the higher authorities are recognizing that these are reasonable requests, and they will respond to them in a timely manner. Plus, if our Unit 15 workers are at a facility that holds safety meetings, our workers can address the issue directly with the Labor Relations Advocate (LRA) on site.

BU 15 Chair Eric Murray and the team also proposed new language for Article 21.26.15 that covered Section B. The State responded that when feasible, in the event of unanticipated staff shortages where staff are covering shortages in addition to those normally assigned, departments may initiate a modified cleaning program. “When feasible” is critically important because up to this point, the State has been utilizing our custodians to cover multiple routes, and now this new language opens up overtime to cover the routes or it becomes a modified route to cover minimal needs. This will relieve a significant burden for the worker in question.

Unit 15 made three additional proposals to the State, including:

  • Article 19.14.15 – Overtime Distribution for Employees (CDCR – Adult Programs) (Unit 15)
  • Article XX.XX.XX In Service Training Overtime (Unit 15)
  • Article 10.25.15 – Infectious Disease Control (Unit 15)
  • Article 11.16.15 – Cooks Classification (Unit 15) – rollover agreement proposal
  • Article 13.19.15 – State-Required Training (Unit 15) – rollover agreement proposal

“19.14.15 is an example of the important language we are implementing for our CSC’s working in the correction environment,” said Garth Underwood, BU 15 Vice Chair and a CDCR Correctional Supervising Cook at Ironwood State Prison. “It always has and always will be an issue. This proposal will correctly address a majority of the correction issues for our supervising cooks, and it shows that seniority matters.”

While fairly simple, 19.14.15 includes important clarifying language, including but not limited to the following changes:

  • In Section A, we remove “will endeavor to” and replace with “shall” reduce the amount of mandatory overtime.
  • In Section B, we recommend replacing “will” with “shall” be considered.
  • In Section C, we clarify and define the beginning and end of an employee’s RDO.
  • In Section D, we again remove “will” and replace with “shall” be required. We are moving two (2) “double” replacing with overtime shifts of any length within the employee’s scheduled workweek. No changes to Sections E, F, or G.
  • In Section H, we remove “will endeavor to” and replace with “shall” afford overtime…

You can read further details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

XX.XX.XX IST Overtime is a completely new concept for BU 15 that has been used by other units working within the California Department of Corrections (CDCR). As is generally acknowledged, Unit 15 classifications that work and attend IST in CDCR institutions post and bid for their spots. This process guarantees the employee their RDOs, shifts, and yard they work on. However, some management teams randomly remove their employees from their shift and adjust employee RDOs to ensure IST attendance. While employee training may be conducted during regular work hours or during the employee’s off-duty hours, we strongly believe employees should be compensated for their time, and no adjustments should be made unless the employee is requesting this change.

The team made an additional proposal for overtime checks that was rejected. The reason given by the State is as follows:

Due to the fact that we are transitioning to bi-weekly pay, the State does not want to add contract language that references the new system and thus potentially affect our overtime language. Per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there is no requirement that an overtime check has to be delivered by the 15th of the month. However, the California State Payroll (CSP) system will strive to do so.

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 15. On Tuesday, May 9, bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 14, and 17 will return to the table. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, May 10.

To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, May 1, 2023

On Monday, May 1, 2023, the Unit 15 Bargaining team once again met with the State in an effort to get the 4,500+ hard-working SEIU Local 1000 allied service workers across California the respect, workplace protection, and pay they deserve.

The team proposed and reached Tentative Agreement (TA) on the following two rollover language items:

  • 9.19.15 – Light/Limited Duty Assignments (Unit 15)
  • 10.34.15 – Building Temperature During Night Shift (Unit 15)

You can read the details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

Unit 15 made one additional proposal to the State:

  • 19.13.15 Overtime Distribution for Employees (Excluding CDCR-Adult Programs) (Unit 15)

The team began by explaining the importance of this proposal, a point not lost on BU 15 members. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that this proposal is every bit as important as money to our allied service workers,” said BU 15 Chair Eric Murray.

The proposal itself is fairly simple, with the team working to keep the original intent of this language while clarifying and making the language more definitive, including:

  • Adding new language in Section A stating that management shall utilize the voluntary system before resorting to the involuntary system.
     
  • Removing “endeavor to” from the language in Section C, which states the department shall refrain from assigning employee’s mandatory overtime on the employee’s Regular Day Off (RDO). In this same section the team detailed the beginning and end of an employee’s RDO.
     
  • Changing the language in Section D from “(2) double shifts” to “overtime shifts of any length” within the employee’s scheduled workweek.

Sections E, F, G remain unchanged.

While the conversation between the State and BU 15 has been professional and productive, Murray was quick to share the credit. “While we’ve given some impactful statements, the work our members and leadership team has done is responsible for getting us to this point. We’ve had these conversations in our Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) meetings, so discussing mandatory overtime and overtime distribution is not something new. The State knows what we’re talking about and they know it’s a problem. There’s only so much overtime our employees can work,” added Murray, a sentiment the State seemed to take to heart.

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 8. On Tuesday, May 2, bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 14, and 17 will return to the table. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, May 3.

To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, April 24, 2023

The Unit 15 Bargaining team, led by Chair Eric Murray, once again met with the State on Monday, April 24. It was a difficult but productive day for the team, which signed seven Tentative Agreements (TAs) and presented numerous high priority proposals demanding that the State show the 4,500+ SEIU Local 1000 allied service workers across the state the monetary respect they deserve.

Joseph Kochetta, a custodian who has worked for the California Department of General Services (DGS) for seven (7) years and now works in the crime lab, spelled out his value loud and clear while discussing the hardships he faces on a daily basis. “We’re not unskilled labor,” said Kochetta. “We have a multitude of training processes that we go through, including Covid-related, in order to keep the labs clean and safe for the technicians. We deal with blood and air-borne pathogens, and if we don’t do things the right way, evidence gets thrown out.”

“We supervise inmate workers by guiding and training them,” added Murray. “We prepare them for their future outside of prison by giving them a solid job skill to be productive members of society.”

The team presented several proposals, including:

  • 12.11.15 Uniform replacement Allowance (Unit 15)
    • Moved $1,000 uniform allowance
    • $200 tax-free shoe allowance
    • Allocates $1,500 for CSC’s
    • California Prison Industry Authority (PIA) Custodians to receive a set amount of uniforms 
  • 21.26.15 Custodial Routes (Unit 15)
    • The team added a new paragraph that addresses staff shortages to ensure departments include a modified cleaning program when short of staff to prevent multiple duties during their scheduled shifts. Custodial staff is currently asked to cover other areas, leading to back-to-back eight (8) hour shifts in one day.
  • 11.XX.15 Special Salary Adjustments (Custodial Alternative Range for Medical Cleaning (Unit 15)
    • This proposal features new language that eliminates the requirements of supervisors to add paperwork to time cards to prove inmates are wards, thus streamlining the process. The proposal also adds $110 to inmate supervision pay.
  • 11.1.15 Special Salary Adjustments (Unit 15)
    • For custodians who work in 24-hour facilities, our position is that this work is more technical and complex than more traditional office-based custodial duties and merits higher pay. Our 24- hour custodians do a higher-level cleaning and require a higher level of skill due to the deeper hospital-level cleaning their job calls for. 

      The team proposed that the whole unit be uplifted 30% beginning on July 1, 2023. This reflects the difficulty in attracting and retaining employees because of the low pay in our classes.

The team also presented several rollover agreements, signaling our desire to leave the existing language unchanged and thus retain the hard-won rights from previous contract campaigns. These agreements include:

  1. 8.24.15 DDS Vacation Scheduling System for Common Level of Care (LOC) Nursing Staff in Bargaining Unit 15
  2. 11.22.15 INTENTIONALLY EXCLUDED
  3. 10.14.15 Personal Alarms-CDCR (Unit 15)
  4. 10.16.15 Alarm System: DDS and DSH (Unit 15)
  5. 10.20.15 Active Treatment Crisis Management, Therapeutic Strategies and Interventions Training or Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, (CPI) (Unit 15)
  6. 13.18.15 Employee Group Meeting (Unit 15)
  7. 19.33.15 Call-in Procedures (Unit 15)

The team also reported back to the State on the severity of their plight as a whole. “There is something horribly wrong with this picture,” said Susanna Redfearn, a Correctional Supervising Cook at Avenal State Prison. “How can an employee of the fourth largest economy in the world be threatened with homelessness? But the sobering truth is a lot of state employees face this threat every day. Making decisions on whether they put food on their table, pay a utility bill, or go to the doctor and pay for their medications. How is this even acceptable by those who have the power to change it, yet haven’t?”

“We took a 10% cut in pay while private sector grocery workers received a 10% raise during Covid,“ added Pete Garza, a Correctional Supervising Cook at Valley State Prison who has worked for the state for 19 years and never seen a significant raise.

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 1. On Tuesday, April 25, bargaining units 1, 3, 4, 14, and 17 will hold their second sessions at the table. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, May 3.

To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

Bargaining Unit 15 Recap: Monday, April 17, 2023

On Monday, April 17, Bargaining Unit 15 met with State for the first time in 2023 to lift up the concerns of over 4,500 allied service workers across the state. The inaugural session was led by Bargaining Unit 15 Chair Eric Murray, who opened by making a heartfelt plea to the State concerning the value Unit 15 brings.

“All of our proposals that we will be presenting to you over the next several weeks are very meaningful and important to our membership and my team. Some may seem strange or exotic to your team, but they are very meaningful for our workers.” Murray’s words seemed to resonate well, and the State responded that they will seek to understand our unit issues, will ask for clarification if they don’t understand, and will consider all of the proposals we present.

The session featured two Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) Tentative Agreements (TA) that were not rollover language:

  • JLMC TA 5.16.15 applies to custodians and features clean-up language that adds new groups to the negotiating table for the first time, including custodians working for:
    • CA Highway Patrol
    • Employment Development Department
    • CA State Lottery
    • CA Dept. of Education
    • Dept. of Motor Vehicles
    • Dept. of Developmental Services
  • JLMC TA 5.18.15 applies to food service workers. Within our contract, we have two separate languages – one for the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) and one for everyone else. This TA adds the following departments to the latter group:
    • CalVet
    • CA Department of Education
    • CA Conservation Corps
    • CA Highway Patrol
    • Department of Developmental Services
    • Department of State Hospitals
  • This TA is also more inclusive in nature due to the fact that it adds one more representative seat to the non-service food workers

In addition to the Tentative Agreements, several subject matter experts came to the table to tell their stories to the State in person.

Karen Maddox-Long, who works for the Departmental of General Services (DGS) as a custodian within the LA metro area, told a poignant story that left listeners in tears. “The hiring process is so hard, it’s impossible to hire people. That means I end up cross-covering multiple jobs. We’re the backbone of the state. If we didn’t do what we do, the state — you — wouldn’t be sitting in a clean office.”

“My parking costs alone come to $880 a month, which is nearly half of my paycheck,” added Bill Suhar, who works for the DGS in Riverside.

Unit 15’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for April 24. On Tuesday, April 18, Bargaining units 1,3, 4, 14, and 17 will hold their first sessions at the table. Master table negotiations resume on Wednesday, April 19.

To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 20, and 21 sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.