Highlights from Unit 17 Tentative Agreement

Early Saturday morning, the SEIU Local 1000 bargaining team reached an overall Tentative Agreement with the State. If ratified, the contract would significantly raise the wage floor for tens of thousands of state workers. It represents the largest three-year contract in Local 1000 history.

At the master table, we negotiated a retroactive pay raise for all employees, won retroactive special salary adjustments for more than 300 job classifications, maintained the health care stipend with no expiration date, reduced the pre-retirement (OPEB) funding, secured a health facility retention payment, and added, changed, or preserved a number of skill-based differentials, allowances, and other reimbursements that factor into our state income. Our general salary increase, our wage equity increase, and our unit-based Special Salary Adjustments are retroactive to July 1, 2023.

Here are the highlights from the Unit 17 (Registered Nurses) bargaining table:

14 different classifications in Unit 17 received pay increases of 5% (11.1.17 Special Salary Increases). These increases are on top of the general salary increase, retroactive to July 1, 2023, and pensionable. You can read a complete list of classifications affected by these increases here.

The educational differential for RN classifications increased by $25, which means it went from $50 up to $75. (11.57.17)

The CDPH Health Facilities Evaluator Nurses LA County Travel Incentive went from 80hrs/10 days down to 40hrs/5 days with a travel incentive that went from $167 up to $250. (11.59.17)

Seniority differential! 
Effective July 1, 2024, through July 1, 2026, multiple RN classifications will receive a seniority differential as follows: 17-19 years of state service will receive 2% of their total salary; 20+ years will receive 3% of their total salary. 

Effective July 1, 2025, RNs with 17-19 years of state service will receive 2% of their total salary; 20-22 years will receive 3% of their total salary; 23+ years of state service will receive 4% of their total salary.

Effective July 1, 2026, RNs with 17-19 years of state service will receive 2% of their total salary; 20-22 years will receive 3% of their total salary; 23-24 years of state service will receive 4% of the total salary; RNs with 25 years or more of state service will receive 5% of their total salary.

We’ve made steps to standardize vacation scheduling at DVA and CDCR/CCHCS. (8.26.17, 8.27.17)

With stronger language, we’re ensuring that safety orientation in 24-hour facilities happens within 45 days of hire and provided a process to solve issues quickly, by meeting with management in a Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC). (10.5.17)

We’ve extended the availability of training in the prevention and management of assaultive behavior or therapeutic strategies and interventions to include CDCR/CCHCS. (10.19.17)

Overtime meals are now governed by stronger, expanded language that offers more flexibility in usage and reimbursement for DVA and CDCR/CCHCS. (12.9.17)

In ten different contract sections, we made great advances in mandatory and voluntary overtime:

  • Greater transparency with a standardized mandate list. Each facility will maintain a universally-available list of impacted employees with dates of last mandated shift. This system will provide a fair and open process,  to ensure that credit for working a mandated shift is duly recorded.
     
  • Better protection for days off. We’ve safeguarded against mandated shifts the day before any pre-approved day off. You can’t be mandated to work overtime on the last day of your regularly scheduled week, nor can you be mandated to work the day before any pre-approved day off.
     
  • Stronger task force, early negotiations. This is our biggest win – new language that creates a Joint Labor-Management Task Force to create solutions for MOT, along with implementation plans for those solutions. The task force will meet every other month and issue a joint report to CalHR, Department of Finance (DOF), and the department heads. Here’s the kicker: this new agreement allows Local 1000 to re-open all MOT-related contract article sections on or after July 1, 2025, well before our next traditional round of contract bargaining. It’s an unheard-of accomplishment by SEIU and gives us optimism for future improvements.

This email summary shares highlights from the Unit 17 table; you may have already received the email recap from the master table. During the ratification process, you’ll be able read and learn more detail about the Tentative Agreement. Besides email, we’ll be posting information about our Tentative Agreement on our Contract Action Center page.

What happens next?

To become a contract, our Tentative Agreement must go through a number of steps in order to become law and the document that governs our working relationship with the state. Those steps include approval by the Statewide Bargaining Advisory Committee, a ratification vote by Local 1000 membership, legislative approval, and the Governor’s signature. Click here to read more about what steps we’ll be taking.

New MOT deal reached after State said “no” a week ago

Tentative agreements add transparency, accountability, and a path to improvement

One week after hearing from the State that they had “no interest” in bargaining over mandatory overtime (MOT), our team pushed back, and after a marathon 17-hour bargaining session, won three big tentative agreements: fair scheduling, better protection of days off, and a unique path to future negotiations.

“We ‘mandated’ this long bargaining session to underscore the issues our members face,” said Vanessa Seastrong, Unit 17 Bargaining Chair. “Our team pressed the State for positive change, and we won.”

Our tentative agreements, listed below, do not include a reduction in mandated shifts. Here are highlights of the important changes we achieved:

Greater transparency with a standardized mandate list. Each facility will maintain a universally-available list of impacted employees with dates of last mandated shift. This system will help employees visualize a fair and open approach to the MOT process.  The new process will allow members to ensure they receive credit for their MOT shift and know where they are actually on the list.

Better protection for days off. We’ve safeguarded against mandated shifts the day before any pre-approved day off. The day before your pre-approved day off is now considered your Friday because our contract states an employee can’t be mandated on their RDO.

Stronger task force, early negotiations. This is our biggest win – new language that creates a Joint Labor Management Task Force to create solutions to MOT, along with implementation plans for those solutions. The task force will meet every other month and issue a joint report to CalHR and the department heads with strategies to reduce MOT across all affected departments. Here’s the kicker: this new agreement allows Local 1000 to re-open all MOT-related contract articles on or after July 1, 2025, well before our next traditional round of contract bargaining. It’s an unheard-of accommodation by the State and gives us optimism for future improvements.

Here are the contract sections we reached agreement on (with changes as summarized above):

  • 19.13.20 Overtime Mandatory Scheduling – Excluding CDCR LVNs and CNAs (Unit 20)
  • 19.14.20 Overtime Mandatory Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services LVNs (Unit 20)
  • 19.14.17 Overtime Mandatory Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services (Unit 17)
  • 19.15.17 Overtime Mandatory Scheduling (Excluding CDCR) (Unit 17)
  • 19.15.20 Overtime Mandatory Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services CNAs (Unit 20)
  • 19.34 Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) – Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) Joint Labor Management Task Force for the Strategic Reduction of Mandatory Overtime for RNs, LVNs, CNAs, and MAs (Units 17 and 20)
  • 19.36 Department of State Hospitals (DSH) Joint Labor Management Task Force for the Strategic Reduction of Mandatory Overtime for RNs and LVNs (Units 17 and 20)
  • 19.37 California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Joint Labor Management Task Force for the Strategic Reduction of Mandatory Overtime for RNs, LVNs, and CNAs (Units 17 and 20)
  • 19.38 Mandatory Overtime

Earlier this week, we also secured tentative agreement on these two sections governing voluntary overtime.

  • 19.22.20 – Overtime Voluntary Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services LVNs (Unit 20)
  • 19.23.20 – Overtime Voluntary Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services CNAs (Unit 20)

You can read more about these and all of our current contract sections in our online, mobile-friendly search tool.

Unit-specific bargaining sessions are being scheduled on a day-to-day basis. We’re scheduled to return to the master table again on Thursday, August 10, and Friday, August 11.  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.

As Local 1000 works to bargain a successful contract, we’ve escalated our actions to make our demand to be respected, protected, and paid more visible – and more impactful.

On Wednesday, August 16, Local 1000 members are taking emergency action to demand living wages.

It’s unacceptable that state employee wages are so low that we can’t afford to live in California.

We provide the essential services that keep our state running. We are not backing down until we win the livable wages our families need.

Time is running out. The State of California must act now to pay its essential state workers for the important work we do. Join union members and community allies to demand livable wages NOW.

When:     Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Time:      12:00 Noon – 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. 
Where:   Capitol Annex Swing Space, 1021 O St, Sacramento, CA 95814

REGISTER HERE.

Can’t join us in Sacramento? Check here for other pickets and actions organized by members across California. 

Mandatory Overtime (MOT) Side Table Summary 8.1.23​. State negotiators signal MOT is a preferred staffing tool, reject improvements, and disrespect medical staff

Today, State negotiators told us in the clearest possible terms that they don’t care about the health care professionals we represent; that the personal safety and work/life balance of the LVNs, CNAs, and RNs isn’t a priority, nor is the quality of the patient care they provide.

They told us that they have no interest in bargaining over mandatory overtime, no interest in reducing the number of mandated shifts, and no interest in finding real solutions to this dangerous practice.

Why? Because, as the State’s lead negotiator said today, state agencies like CDCR/CCHCS and DVA don’t want to make a change and prefer to use mandatory overtime as a staffing tool. What’s worse, that same lead negotiator claimed having the authority to implement a reduction in MOT, and that it wasn’t a financial decision. The departments believe reducing MOT to be too difficult.

Eliminating MOT has been a hard-fought, six-year battle. We reached agreement in 2019 negotiations for a joint task force to find solutions, which included triggers that forced a reduction in the number of mandated shifts management could impose.

Local 1000 did their share, creating solutions, participating in pilot programs, and more. At every turn, our ideas were answered with excuses or unwillingness. Our current contract called for the participation of CalHR and the State’s Department of Finance, which did not happen.

We entered this bargaining cycle with the goal of creating a pathway to eliminating MOT. Today’s session was the third we’ve had with the State on this subject. We’ve presented scores of subject matter experts backed with compelling data. All to no avail.

The State has rejected our every effort to reduce the number of mandated shifts. The State is willing to keep the task force, but as many times as Local 1000 has brought recommendations to the table, the State has failed to implement them or bring recommendations of their own.

It’s time for the nurses represented by Local 1000 to take action. If the State won’t move, we can stand together and make our demands to move them.

Here’s how you can take action:

We all know how dangerous mandatory overtime is for patients and staff, but it’s important that management hears it from all of us! Take 2 minutes and please call/email your Department Head and urge them to support our proposal because we all benefit from a safe working environment.

Use the list below to find who you should contact based on your department worksite:

  • Department of State Hospitals- Executive Director  
  • Department of Veteran Affairs- Director of Nursing
  • Department of Developmental Services- Executive Director
  • California Correctional Health Care Services/CDCR- Your facility Chief Nurse Executive 

***In order to make sure our message is heard, please remember to be courteous and respectful!

Below is a simple script to use when making your calls or emails:

“My name is _____, and I have been a nurse with the State of California for ___ years. I love my job and take great pride in quality patient care. My coworkers and I sacrificed our health and the health of our families during the pandemic because we knew our work was essential. However, we are now at a breaking point. The high vacancy rate of nurses is putting us ALL at risk once again. The shortage in nurses means we are regularly being expected to work mandatory overtime. Mandatory overtime is unsafe for patients and nurses. Please do the right thing and urge CalHR to accept our proposal to reduce mandatory overtime for nurses that work for the State of California.” 

What’s next:

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.

Bargaining Unit 17 Recap: Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Today’s Unit 17 bargaining session was both brief and productive. We reached a tentative agreement that protects previous hard-fought language and exchanged and discussed two other counterproposals.

With today’s tentative agreement on contract section 19.9.17, our Registered Nurses maintain their rights to exchange hours of work with other employees of the same classification at the workplace. It’s a quality-of-life opportunity that our represented employees will continue to enjoy.

Two other issues were discussed today: discussions are back-and-forth on post-and-bid language for vacant positions at DDS and DSH. And, we’re still pressing the State for agreement on a new proposal to offer a seniority-based pay differential for Unit 17 employees with significant tenure with the state.

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. In order for our demands to be heard, SEIU Local 1000-represented employees need to stand together. So, we encourage you to sign up for our next action on July 25, 26, and 27 when we picket CalHR in Sacramento. Click here to register.

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

Bargaining Unit 17 Recap: Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Unit 17’s bargaining session today was marked by productive discussion on a number of issues, capped by two tentative agreements that ensure greater safety for our represented nurses.

Working in prisons with inmate patients always presents the risk of dangerous interaction. These secure facilities require thorough indoctrination and training, so much so that our contract protects our right to receive such training.

Our wins featured added language to ensure the opportunity to collaborate collectively with management regarding resolution of issues pertaining to employee orientations. We reached agreement on section 10.5.17 – Safety Orientation and 13.24.17 – Orientation. Now, if management isn’t offering proper training, the issue can be referred to a Joint Labor Management Committee for solutions.

Also today, Unit 17 and the State exchanged a number of proposals and counterproposals. We will continue our work to advance our members and to resolve outstanding proposals, including those affecting our pay, our working conditions, and our benefits.

As you know, we have not yet reached an overall tentative agreement on a new contract with the State. Remember, our rights are still protected under the terms of our previous contract, which expired on June 30.

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

Bargaining Unit 17 Recap: Thursday, July 6, 2023

The State returned to the table with Unit 17 on Thursday, July 6 to negotiate our contract. SEIU Local 1000’s bargaining team is once again facing the same issue as in previous weeks: the State’s position does not prioritize or consider the needs of nurses who have worked through COVID and remain in incredibly difficult situations.

SEIU Local 1000 presented the following proposals to the State’s negotiating team today –

  • 10.19.17 Prevention and Management of Assaultive Behavior or Therapeutic Strategies and Interventions Training (Unit 17) – SEIU offered a counter proposal for this article section to strengthen the language for department equivalent training and for Joint Labor Management Committees to help resolve training issues at the departmental level
     
  • 11.XXX.17 Seniority Differential (Unit 17) – SEIU presented this new proposal to benefit BU 17 employees with a seniority pay differential for their hard-earned years of state service
     
  • 12.9.17 Overtime Meals Allowance (Unit 17) – SEIU presented this article section with new language that mirrors the Master table language that was passed to increase the meal allowance and for automatic payment as opposed to using the CalATERS system 

The State offered counterproposals for the following articles today –

  • 13.24.17 Orientation (Unit 17) – the state rejected the Union’s language and proposed new language of their own, which the team will review and respond to accordingly
     
  • 21.23.17 Recruitment and Retention (R&R) Committee (Unit 17) – the state proposed rollover for this article section
     
  • Appendix 2.17 – FLSA Exempt Employee Differential (Unit 17) – the state proposed a minor language change to this contract appendix, which the team will review and respond to accordingly
     
  • Side Letter 16.17 – the state proposed that this Side Letter go to the Master table, but then pulled it back for further review after being educated on this Side letter by the BU 17 Chair 

“Today seemed very rushed by the State,” said Unit 17 Chair Vanessa Seastrong. “We only received three article sections, and the State even retracted one from negotiations because they believed it didn’t involve Unit 17 and wanted to send it to the Master table.”   The BU 17 Chair, Vanessa Seastrong, had to educate the State’s chief negotiator that Side Letter 16.17 is a Unit 17 specific Side Letter.

This Side Letter (16.17) is an important piece of technical language that maintains the rights we have in our contract in the event of an oversight at the table.  The language in this Side Letter covers all the elements that may be left over after bargaining. This is a routine piece of bargaining that we have as a technicality to ensure that language remains in place even if it’s not specifically bargained over either by oversight or any other reason. “All bargaining units have shared language in Side Letters,” said team member Shelia Coonan. “Every bargaining unit has this language. Still, the State’s chief negotiator said it didn’t pertain to us exclusively, which is untrue.”

“I don’t understand how they think this didn’t apply to us,” said Coonan. “This shows a lack of care with how they’re approaching our contract. They didn’t think they were meeting with us today, resulting in a hurried, unprepared, and unfocused meeting that does not reflect our member’s priorities or a serious approach to negotiations.”

This is not bargaining as usual, but a reflection of a problem created by the State’s bargaining team. After months of working at a snail’s pace, ignoring our demands for the care and attention our contract deserves, they are now surprised to discover there is still a lot of work to do.

Of the three article sections that were discussed today, Unit 17 pushed the State’s team to consider the reality of the workplaces under discussion. One article section under discussion, 10.19.17, deals with assaultive training for departments.

“We need training for our departments to provide workplace protections from assault. Our members need to be involved in developing these programs because members are getting hurt in their workplaces and need to be trained on the issues they actually face,” said Bob Mutebi, Alternate Vice Chair.

The current trainings provided by the State are not sufficient to address the existing problems.  We need safer workplaces, and we need every worker to go back to their families safe at the end of their workday.

“What we have right now is a situation where the State finds or invents a training which is not equivalent to the dangers we face in the workplace,” said Seastrong. “Members have consistently found these trainings inadequate.” Additionally, while on the job, the State needs to ensure that during critical moments, their workforce is provided the essentials they need to do their job.

Article section 12.9.17, discussed at the table today, addresses meal tickets for members working overtime. “Our members need automatic meal tickets for overtime,” added Mutebi. “Currently, there is a long process of application, which discourages nurses and leads to them losing money while working. We also want to increase the amount from $8 to $10, to better serve the nurses who need to use these programs.”

Major issues that the State has long been aware of also need to be addressed. Experienced nurses are leaving state service faster than they can be replaced, creating critical shortages of workers for many departments across the State. Article section 11.XXX.17 would help address these issues. “We are asking for longevity pay for nurses who have worked over 16 years,” said Seastrong. “Retaining nurses is absolutely crucial for maintaining the quality of the services we provide.”

Retention is extremely challenging due to the difficult conditions and poor support and low wages provided by the State. This has led to overwork and degraded services across California.

“The current vacancy rates mean we need to have incentives in place to keep experienced nurses on the floor,” said Mutebi. “Other nurses will benefit from their experience, and patients as well, since they maintain continuity of care.”

These proposals all reflect serious issues faced by nurses across California. Without a dedicated partner at the table who will confront these problems seriously, negotiations will continue to reflect the scattered and unfocused approach of the State’s bargaining team.

 “A serious point of concern for me as the Vice Chair is that the State negotiating team assigned to us has shown very little or no commitment to adequately addressing the widely and deeply felt concerns of RN’s,” said Unit 17 Vice Chair Mary Naidoo. “Poor responses to issues we have brought forward are evidence of poor research into issues raised. The State’s lack of information to substantiate their rejections of our proposals is a clear demonstration of how little the State values our health and safety and how their lack of planning to address our unsustainable workloads.”

As bargaining continues, nurses’ voices must be heard by the State’s negotiating team. Members are creating mobilizing actions across California, and Unit 17’s nurses demands must be taken seriously.

“We need the State to work with us in achieving a contract which will benefit all,” said Naidoo, “not only in our work environment but to help nurses attain the work-life balance that we as dedicated state workers deserve.”

Unit 17 will return to the table as needed to complete negotiations on this contract for our members. 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 have questions about actions planed at your worksite, contact the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348), Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Bargaining Unit 17 Recap: Wednesday, July 5, 2023

The State returned to the table with SEIU Local 1000 on Tuesday, June 27th to negotiate the contract that will impact the lives of nurses across California. Once again, the State’s bargaining team has failed to either negotiate or appreciate the work done by the nurses who have kept California running for the last 3 years.

The State returned the following proposals to the SEIU Local 1000 bargaining team:

  • 8.28.17 Paid Education Leave (Unit 17) – the state proposed new language specific to asking employees to provide proof of dates of attendance for continuing education upon completion of licensure coursework
     
  • 8.29.17 Non-Paid Educational or Research Leave (Unit 17) – the state proposed rollover
     
  • 10.5.17 Safety Orientation (Unit 17) – the state proposed rollover
     
  • 11.3.17 Salary Definition (Unit 17) – the state proposed updated language that the team will look into further with the Research Dept. before responding with a counteroffer.
     
  • 19.8.17 Flexible Work Hours and Alternate Work Schedules (Unit 17) – the state proposed rollover
     
  • 19.18.17 Rescinding Approved Time Off (Unit 17) – the state proposed rollover

In response, we returned the following to the State:

  • 20.7.17 Post and Bid Procedure for Vacant Positions – DDS & DSH (Unit 17) – SEIU proposed new language for a 100% Post & Bid process for Unit 17 employees to give them greater power and opportunity in their schedules
     
  • 20.9.17 Post and Bid Assignments by Seniority – CDCR (Unit 17) – SEIU proposed new language for a Continuous vacancy bid process to allow for greater flexibility in assignment scheduling

The State’s proposal on Paid Education Leave was followed by an insult directed at the nurses. “A State team member called our nurses untrustworthy during negotiations. They claimed that nurses are dishonest, and we took it as an insult,” said Unit 17 Chair Vanessa Seastrong. “We got very upset and vocal about this in negotiations due to the unreasonable and unprofessional remark. DSH wants to blame everybody within our unit for problems they have no part in. They want to put limitations on nurses and deny us this educational leave. It was very disturbing what she said to us.”

The State makes it difficult for nurses to obtain Continuing Educational Units (CEUs), which must be renewed by a board of nursing every two years, by repeatedly denying requests for this basic workplace requirement.

“The fundamental requirement of our job is licensure,” said Unit 17 Vice Chair Mary Naidoo. In an already difficult environment, it is challenging to schedule time off.  The State is trying to put more barriers in place toward granting time off requests by restricting how education leave is requested and used for obtaining the required CEUs.”

“We proposed that the State automatically approve nurses to take these educational courses after their third attempt,” said Seastrong. “We need to keep our licenses to work in our workplaces. We cannot be unreasonably and endlessly denied. All nurses in the state of California — and across the nation — are required to take continuing education classes. The state knows this and yet they still put roadblocks between workers.”

These proposals represent a deepening of an existing issue in the workplace that has created major complications for state nurses to remain in their careers while faced with the rising costs of living and being overworked.

While the State also countered us on several article sections, offering rollovers of existing language and rejecting our proposals, this bargaining session did not see any negotiation from the State.

The State has continued to demand responses from the SEIU Local 1000 negotiating team but has consistently refused to discuss in depth or seriously consider any proposal we make. This ongoing empty promise to consider more material has led to a situation where nurses’ voices are being shut down by the State.  “The State thus far has not come to the table to negotiate as they have in the past,” said Seastrong.

“I’m very disappointed in the State’s constant rejections, and I do not expect their position to change,” said Seastrong. “We have proposed reasonable changes, but have seen no movement on the salary and other major economic issues.”

If the state continues to be fixed in its positions, nurses will need to express their rights in the workplace and amplify their demands directly to the State in actions and events across the state.

“Please continue to purple up on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to show your support for your bargaining team, because we’re fighting for a contract that the State does not want to give us,” said team member Sheila Coonan.

“We need to escalate our actions, and we need every nurse involved,” said Seastrong. “If you’re unsure of what’s going on in your workplace or what actions to take, call the Member Resource Center, and they’ll direct you to the right place.”

Unit 17 does not have a scheduled time as to when they will return to the table. 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 have questions about actions planned at your worksite, contact the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348), Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Bargaining Unit 17 Recap: Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Our Unit 17 bargaining team recorded progress on a number of fronts for the Registered Nurses we represent; our session today was fraught with disappointment as well.

“Overall, it was very disappointing,” said Vanessa Seastrong, Unit 17 bargaining Chair. “The State’s not respecting us and acts like it doesn’t want to pay us or to improve some critical areas of our working conditions.”

In a number of contract sections we’ve presented, the State’s pushing back on our attempt to strengthen language, instead offering simple rollovers or, in some cases, takeaways in the form of weaker provisions.

“We’ve done our homework, we’ve made thorough and thoughtful presentations based on rigorous research, yet the State’s not showing us the same care and collaboration in return,” said team member Sheila Coonan. “It’s disrespectful.”

We’re still fighting for solutions to a long-standing problem with mandatory overtime. Today, the State continued to kick the can down the road by offering no movement, remaining passive on a dangerous practice that’s unsafe and ignoring our work/life balance.

“Every time, it’s like we’re explaining the problem for the first time,” said Vice Chair Mary Naidoo. “The State’s talking in circles, and it’s unclear what their priorities are. It’s not our members, and it’s disgraceful behavior.”

Still on the table: economic proposals, which have been moved to the master table, and Post and Bid proposals, which the State keeps pushing back on.

On a positive note, we reached tentative agreement on the following contract sections:

  • 10.11.17 Hazardous Materials (Unit 17) – language changes from both the Union and the State that were agreed upon
     
  • 13.7.17 Performance Appraisal of Nursing Practices (Unit 17) – rollover
     
  • 13.11.17 Nursing and Upward Mobility Joint Labor Management Committee (Unit 17) – rollover
     
  • 11.2.17 School for the Deaf and Blind Pay Differential (Unit 17) – rollover

Here are the proposals we received from the State today:

  • 11.6.17 Overtime Checks (Unit 17) – The State rejected SEIU Local 1000’s language changes and proposed rollover
     
  • 19.14.17 Overtime Mandatory Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services (Unit 17) – counterproposal from State, which our team will review and follow up with the State after a determination is made from team
     
  • 19.15.17 Overtime Mandatory Scheduling (Excluding CDCR) (Unit 17) – counterproposal from State, which the team will review and follow up with the State after a determination is made from team
     
  • 19.22.17 – Overtime Voluntary Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services (Unit 17) – State proposed rollover language but wanted to use SEIU Local 1000’s number sequence (19.22.17)
     
  • 19.23.17 – Overtime Voluntary Scheduling (Excluding CDCR) (Unit 17) – State proposed rollover language but wanted to use SEIU Local 1000’s number sequence (19.23.17)
     
  • 20.9.17 Post and Bid Assignments by Seniority – CDCR (Unit 17) – State proposed rollover

The Unit 17 team made the following proposals to the State:

  • 13.7.17 Performance Appraisal of Nursing Practices (Unit 17) – presented as rollover
     
  • 13.11.17 Nursing and Upward Mobility Joint Labor Management Committee (Unit 17) – presented as rollover
     
  • 11.8.17 Night Shift and Weekend Differential (Unit 17) – added new language to this proposal to afford nurses more pay incentives to work nights and weekends
     
  • 19.8.17 Flexible Work Hours and Alternate Work Schedules (Unit 17) – added new language to this proposal for nurses to take an annual survey to gage interest in working an alternate work schedule to reduce mandatory overtime

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

“We still have a lot of ground to cover in a short time, and we need our members to stand up and stand together to press the State for progress,” added Chair Vanessa Seastrong. “Talk with your coworkers, and your managers, and take part in the activities organized by Local 1000’s Regional Organizing Committee. We can’t win without everybody taking responsibility and taking action.”

A bargaining session is planned for Thursday, June 22, to continue work on mandatory overtime and other issues. Unit 17 also returns to the table next week, on Tuesday, June 27. However, with just ten days remaining until our contract expires, bargaining sessions could happen at any time.

To keep updated, and 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 17 Recap: Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Unit 17 team returned to the table this week to continue negotiations with the State’s bargaining team over the critical issues that must be addressed in our next contract as we fight for respect, protection, and pay for all.

With only two more days of regularly scheduled bargaining before our contract expires, there are a number of article sections that are being worked on currently.

In spite of the volume of article sections considered at the table today, this does not solve the longstanding issues Unit 17 has with the State’s proposals during negotiations.

“We have 34 article sections still left open, and only two more bargaining sessions to handle them in,” said Unit 17 Chair Vanessa Seastrong. “We have not had any opportunity to negotiate, discuss new language, or dig into any counterproposals. It feels more like a delaying tactic rather than a negotiation strategy.”

These delays and lack of time to engage in negotiations while at the table has created a backlog of articles that are crucial to our members needs. Our team has highlighted these issues to the State and continues to make these demands central at the table.

“The responses we received from our members at town halls and surveys were clear,” said Alternate Vice Chair Bob Mutebi. “Our members are asking to receive their pay in a timely manner, to get rid of reimbursement, and to receive direct pay for the work they do. The State has rejected two of our proposals (direct payment of license renewal and NP furnishing renewal fees), which we feel is disrespectful to our members. Their bureaucracy has failed to address these needs already, and this failed system should not be preserved by the State.”

In addition to language surrounding reimbursement, member concerns on how the State will handle pandemic recovery are not being addressed. “When they reject articles that would compensate Unit 17 members for working during the pandemic,” said Alternate Vice Chair Bob Mutebi., “it’s hard for us to see how we are being respected at the table or in the workplace.”

“The State showed us complete disregard and disrespect with reference to the article on safety orientation. They did not seem to be concerned about the safety of nurses, patients, or staff,” said Vice Chair Mary Naidoo”.

“Every nurse who walks into a workplace should be oriented into their new position,” said Seastrong. “For them to reject this outright shows they’re waiting for a catastrophic issue or a lawsuit before they make the changes that keep us safe,” said Sheila Coonan.

These issues are not just concerns to our members, but to the communities they serve and the state itself, which is still dealing with the ongoing vacancy crisis caused and exacerbated by these policies.

“What will the State do when these nurses leave? This will make our vacancy rates even worse and degrade services even further,” said Seastrong. “Their biggest complaint is that they don’t have enough staff. It’s no wonder they have these problems when they consistently show their unwillingness to negotiate solutions that respect and retain nurses.”

With so little time left before the contract expires, our bargaining teams are holding strong and pushing for the State to step up to its responsibilities, both to our members and the people who depend on them.

“We are running out of time,” said Seastrong. “We’ve received nothing but rollovers and rejections. They want to take more time on the weekend, but they’re not using the allocated time for negotiating a strong contract for our members.”

Below are the article sections referenced in more detail from the bargaining recap above:

Today, the State reached a tentative agreement on the following article sections:

  • 8.24.17 DDS Vacation Scheduling: Three Vacation Period Scheduling Method (Unit 17)
     
  •  10.37.17 Wellness Programs (Unit 17) – rollover, no language changes
     
  • 19.26.17 Workweek Correctional Institutions (Unit 17)
     
  • 20.6.17 Post and Bid Procedure for Vacant Registered Nurse Positions – Veteran’s Homes (Unit 17)
     
  • 20.8.17 Post and Bid Procedure CDCR/DJJ (Unit 17)

Additionally, Unit 17 made the following proposals to the State today: 

  • 20.6.17 Post and Bid Procedure for Vacant Registered Nurse Positions – Veteran’s Homes (Unit 17) – rollover, no language changes
     
  • 20.8.17 Post and Bid Procedure CDCR/DJJ (Unit 17) – rollover, no language changes
     
  • 8.27.17 CDCR – CCHCS Vacation Scheduling – Registered Nurses (Unit 17) – new language to benefit nurses
     
  • 20.7.17 Post and Bid Procedure for Vacant Positions – DDS & DSH (Unit 17) – new language to benefit nurses
     
  • 20.9.17 Post and Bid Assignments by Seniority – CDCR (Unit 17) – new language to benefit nurses
     
  • 10.11.17 Hazardous Materials (Unit 17) – minor language changes to keep up with current state policy
     
  • 11.6.17 Overtime Checks (Unit 17) – counterproposal to strengthen language
     
  • 10.37.17 Wellness Programs (Unit 17) – rollover, no language changes
     
  • 8.26.17 Department of Veterans Affairs Vacation Scheduling (Unit 17) – new language to mirror current department procedure

Finally, the State proposed the following responses to the bargaining team: 

  • 11.6.17 Overtime Checks (Unit 17) – counterproposal to strengthen language – State rejected language changes
     
  • 13.11.17 Nursing and Upward Mobility Joint Labor Management Committee (Unit 17) – State rejected language changes
     
  • 8.25.17 DSH Vacation Scheduling (Unit 17) – countered with new language to our rollover language
     
  • 19.24.17 Floating (Unit 17) – countered with new language to our rollover language
     
  • 13.24.17 Orientation (Unit 17) – counter with rollover language and rejected new language
     
  • 19.1.17 Hours of Work (Unit 17) – submitted to SEIU Local 1000 as rollover
     
  • 10.19.17 Prevention and Management of Assaultive Behavior or Therapeutic Strategies and Interventions Training (Unit 17) – rejected some language changes, accepted some language changes, and added some new language
     
  • 12.18.17 License Renewal Fees (Unit 17) – submitted to SEIU Local 1000 as rollover
     
  • 12.21.17 Nurse Practitioner Furnishing Number Renewal Fees (Unit 17) – submitted to SEIU Local 1000 as rollover
     
  • 11.XX.17 Mental Health and Wellness Stipend 2023 (Unit 17) – State rejected this proposal
     
  • 12.X.17 Professional Clothing Allowance – State rejected this proposal

Unit 17 returns to the table next week, on Tuesday, June 20. 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 17 Recap: Tuesday, June 6, 2023

As Unit 17 returned to the table once again to negotiate with the State, our bargaining team is fighting to make nurses’ needs a priority. We have addressed the issues that our members have identified to get a contract that ensures the State respects us, protects us, and pays us.

The State offered a counterproposal for the following contract section:

  • 8.26.17 Department of Veterans Affairs Vacation Scheduling (Unit 17) – The State offered a counter with some additional language which the team will review prior to offering a counter.

Additionally, the Unit 17 team reached a tentative agreement with the State regarding the following rollover sections:

  • 19.7.17 Report Preparation Time (Unit 17)
  • 16.7.17 Continuation of Benefits (Unit 17)

Unit 17 offered the following proposals to the State today:

  • 8.28.17 Paid Education Leave (Unit 17) – rollover language
  • 12.21.17 Nurse Practitioner Furnishing Number Renewal Fees (Unit 17) – new language

Unit 17 presented two proposals today that were financial in nature, which specifically address direct payment for Nurse Practitioners (NP) furnishing number renewal, and paid education leave.

While we reached tentative agreements on two rollover sections today, this does not represent real progress at the table.

 “The State is not taking our proposals seriously, and this shows when they come to the table unprepared to discuss the contract issues vital to our members,” said Vanessa Seastrong, Unit 17 Chair.

Bargaining requires a dialog at the table. When the State fails to address the sections sent by the bargaining team, this prevents dialog from being possible. While the team received one counterproposal today, on DVA Vacation Scheduling, this does not represent significant movement at the table.

“We feel disappointed and disrespected when we provide an enormous amount of material for them to work with and consistently receive very little in return,” said team member Shelia Coonan.

Likewise, the two article sections TA’ed at the table today are a fraction of what would be expected this late into the bargaining cycle, with as much material as the State has been sent for consideration already.

“We have already submitted 90% of the articles we want to discuss at the table,” said Bob Mutebi, BU 17 Alternate Vice Chair. “We want them to respect our member’s needs and, at minimum, move these articles along. Things cannot continue at a snail’s pace.”

“With only three bargaining sessions remaining, time is of the essence. The bargaining team is concerned that further delay will prevent us from finishing all the work required by June 30th. They think that these article sections can be handed to us all at once to be taken or left at the table,” said Shelia Coonan, Unit 17 bargaining team member. This doesn’t allow for serious, substantive discussion of our nurses’ issues.

“Even though California claims to be a progressive state, the Unit 17 team is not observing this at the negotiating table due to the very minimal response from the State team to our proposals. This lack of response seriously affects the work/life balance of our members,” said Vice Chair Mary Naidoo. The current pace of negotiations is not sustainable for our nurses.

Unit 17 returns to the table next week, on Tuesday, June 13. 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 17 Recap: Tuesday, May 30, 2023

As Unit 17 returns to the table once again to negotiate with the State, our bargaining team is fighting to solve the urgent problems faced by Registered Nurses and make their needs a priority at the table.

Unit 17’s bargaining session opened with a presentation from a subject matter expert, Dr. Taffany Hwang, who presented the troubling situation facing nurses in state service. Rising separation rates, which have led to high vacancy rates are crippling nurse’s ability to provide high-standard quality care to California’s vulnerable population. Overworked, underpaid, and undervalued, nurses are burnt out and need solutions now.  

“Our focus today was upward mobility and compensation, and we have proposed major reforms,” said Vanessa Seastrong, Unit 17 Chair. “These issues have plagued nurses throughout the last three years leading to separation rates above the national average and crisis-level vacancy rates.”

The new language sections proposed today address some of the most critical issues facing nurses.

Unit 17 proposed the following three sections of the new language today:

  • 11.X.17 Salary Adjustments (Unit 17)
  • 11.17.17 Recruitment and Retention Differential (R&R) (Unit 17)
  • 13.11.17 Nursing and Upward Mobility Joint Labor Management Committee (Unit 17)

Responding to the State’s concerns voiced at Mandatory Overtime Committees last year, Unit 17 proposed language to automatically implement a recruitment and retention differential of $800 for any department that has a vacancy rate of 20% or greater.

“We believe this will help departments that are understaffed by improving retention and compensating overworked nurses,” said team member Sheila Coonan.

Unit 17 also proposed an article today that recognizes and addresses the cost-of-living crisis impacting nurses.

“Nursing should be seen as an attractive position in state service,” said Alternate Vice Chair Bob Mutebi. “We want the state to show the value of these positions by raising salaries to compete with private sector wages. Fair pay is vital to nurses, leading to safer staffing and patient care.”

Unit 17 proposed a 15% salary adjustment, in addition to whatever GSI is ultimately reached at the Master Table. The bargaining team is continuing to focus on raising the wages of nurses who have been underpaid and undervalued for far too long.

Implementing an upward mobility ladder would help retain experienced nurses by giving them opportunities to advance within Unit 17 and to mentor coworkers.

“Dr. Hwang did a very good job identifying the issues in upward mobility in her classification, as a Nurse Consultant III,” said team member Felicia Barbato. “In general, it’s hard for a lot of nurses to have opportunities to advance in their classifications without having to go into management or leave the state.”

While our Unit 17 bargaining team continues to negotiate with the State, we continue to prioritize the demands voiced by registered nurses at the table.

Today, the State reached a tentative agreement on the following sections:

  • 9.21.17 Reasonable Accommodation (Unit 17)
  • 10.7.17 Protective Clothing and Equipment (Unit 17)
  • 10.38.17 Rest Areas (Unit 17)
  • 13.25.17 Mandatory Training (Unit 17)
  • 19.6.17 Show Up Time (Unit 17)
  • 19.16.17 Change in Shift Assignment (Unit 17)
  • 19.17.17 Mixed Shift Work Weeks (Unit 17)
  • 19.19.17 Work Week Group (WWG) Definitions (Unit 17)
  • 21.19.17 Nursing Policy and Procedures Manual (Unit 17)

Additionally, Unit 17 received the State’s counter proposal on the following section:

  • 10.11.17 Hazardous Materials (Unit 17)

The State proposed one rollover section to the union at today’s bargaining session:

  • 10.37.17 Wellness Programs (Unit 17)

“In the next four sessions of bargaining, we hope to see counterproposals offered and tentative agreements reached on our outstanding article sections,” said Seastrong.

Unit 17 returns to the table next week, on Tuesday, June 6. 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 17 Recap: Tuesday, May 23, 2023

While Unit 17 continues to negotiate with the State, our bargaining team is making sure that the voices and needs of Registered Nurses are a priority at the table.

Today’s bargaining session began with our Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Two nurse practitioners joined the bargaining team to present the justification for their proposed 30-40% pay increase.

In addition, four rank-and-file Health Facilities Evaluator Nurses (HFENs) from across the state provided background on the work they do to serve the most vulnerable members of the public, sharing heartfelt stories from their work experiences. They spoke on the issues they face in their work environment, including a 23% vacancy rate, ongoing backlogs, and low salaries.

“Our members are passionate about these issues,” said bargaining team member Sheila Coonan. “We want to voice their demands at the bargaining table.”

The State needs to provide its Registered Nurses a livable wage. Our proposals today address the financial gap experienced by HFENs. HFENs from across the state are sent to Los Angeles to help relieve the backlog. While there, they work alongside LA County nurses in the same classification while making 30% less.

“Very rarely are HFENs in Los Angeles long enough to take advantage of the travel incentive,” said bargaining team member Felicia Barbato. “We have proposed expanding the verbiage so all HFENs sent to LA will reap the benefits they’ve earned.”

Additionally, nurses required to wear professional attire have never had a clothing allowance in spite of the financial difficulties they have incurred.

“We are representing the state in our work environment, and we need to be professionally dressed,” said Barbato. “The state needs to provide a reasonable allowance for RNs to be prepared for work.”

Nurse practitioners have not had a special salary adjustment since 2006. Because of this, their wages are not comparable to the private sector.

In order to make up all these differences in compensations across these three classifications, BU 17 passed three financial proposals today to the State:

  • 11.1.17 – Special Salary Adjustments (Unit 17) – 30%
  • 11.59.17 – Health Facilities Evaluator Nurse LA County Travel Incentive –

California Department of Public Health (Unit 17) – $167 per day

  • 12.X.17 – Professional Clothing Allowance (Unit 17) – $450 per year

The state offered Tentative Agreements for the following rollover sections:

  • 2.4.17 – Distribution of Union Information (Unit 17)
  • 5.17.17 – Classification Recruitment and Retention Committee (Unit 17)
  • 14.20.17 – Classification Reviews (Unit 17)

Our team has made it very clear to the State that movement at the table is crucial. “We are waiting for responses to a remaining 60 proposed article sections,” said Vanessa Seastrong, Unit 17 Chair. “These need to be addressed in the next 4 weeks of bargaining.”

Unit 17 returns to the table next week, on Tuesday, May 30. 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 17 Recap: Tuesday, May 16, 2023

As we enter another week of bargaining with the State for a contract that respects, protects, and pays the workers who have kept California running, our Bargaining Unit 17 team returned to the table on May 16.

In spite of the number of articles that were considered today, the pace of negotiations still must remain high to address all sections that must be approved. “We will see movement forward if the State will provide counter proposals for article sections we have submitted, allowing negotiations to actually begin,” said BU 17 Chair Vanessa Seastrong.

Unit 17 proposed the following remaining rollover article sections:

·         8.25.17 – DSH Vacation Scheduling

·         13.18.17 – Professional Practice Groups

·         21.19.17 – Nursing Policy and Procedures Manual

·         21.20.17 – Labor Management Committee – Nurse Utilization

·         21.21.17 – Contract Violation Waiver

·         21.22.17 – Licensure

·        Appendix N –

1.17 – Departmental Approved Courses and Application Procedures for Educational Differential

2.17 – FLSA Exempt Employee Differential

7.17 – Activation of Correctional Treatment Centers (CTCs)

16.17 – Side Letter

Unit 17 proposed new language for the following article sections:

·         8.26.17 – Department of Veterans Affairs Vacation Scheduling

·         10.19.17 – Prevention and Management of Assaultive Behavior or Therapeutic Strategies and Interventions Training (PMAB/TSI)

DVA Vacation Scheduling is a section the Union and the State worked on together back in 2021. During bargaining, the team wants to make sure that the policy implemented last year for vacation schedules is standardized throughout the department by ensuring it becomes part of the contract.

“The problem we had with DVA was there was no standardized process for vacation time,” said Sheila Coonan, DVA Redding. “We met with the State and took the ideas we liked and collaborated to build this policy that we implemented. Across the board, everyone at my facility loved it. Nurses knew exactly what vacation time they had when they walked out the door. It helped solve issues of preferential treatment and confusion, creating a fair and equitable standard for all DVA members across the state.”

The bargaining team proposed new language to strengthen section 10.19.17 noted above so that our members can be trained and educated in how to protect themselves from assaultive behaviors which can happen in state facilities. “The PMAB training is part of DVA and DDS where we are supposed to receive training every two years. Prior to Covid, the last time it was offered in my workplace was in 2018. We pushed on how important it is to add DVA because this training must be introduced across the board for any workers who face these situations”, said Sheila.

“Our new language proposal includes TSI training that should be provided upon hire, as this secures the worksites of CDCR/CCHCS and the safety of the nurses,” said BU 17 Alternate Vice Chair Bob Mutebi. “We all expect to come back from our jobs in one piece. But when the state neglects to provide us with this training, it puts us all at risk.”

Finally, we reached tentative agreement with the State on the following sections:

·         9.19.17 – Light/Limited Duty Assignments

·         10.24.17 – Immunization Against Diseases

·         10.25.17 – Infectious Disease Control

·         10.35.17 – Employee Self-Protection

·         13.18.17 – Professional Practice Groups

·         13.26.17 – Non-Mandatory Training

·         13.27.17 – In-Service Training

·         21.20.17 – Labor Management Committee – Nurse Utilization                       

·         21.21.17 – Contract Violation Waiver

·         21.22.17 – Licensure

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

The team has made headway today with the State, reaching tentative agreement on a number of important article sections. “We informed them that we’ve provided all of our rollover language and that we need some counter proposals on our future article sections,” said team member Sheila Coonan. “We received four more tentative agreements for rollover sections later in the day, and we proposed two new language sections at the table after lunch.”

Movement at the table is a good sign for the future of negotiations, but the State still needs to provide counter proposals or tentative agreements to these outstanding sections. “Next week, I expect more rollovers to be returned,” said Seastrong. “We need to receive counters so we can negotiate on the articles that matter to our members. The ball is in their court.”

Unit 17’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 23. To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 15, 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.

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

Bargaining Unit 17 & 20 Recap: Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Happy Nurses’ Week from your Bargaining Unit 17 (BU 17) and Bargaining Unit 20 (BU 20) Bargaining Unit Negotiating Committees (BUNC). While we celebrate the work nurses do across the country, SEIU Local 1000-represented nurses went to the table on May 9 to focus on Mandatory Overtime and Voluntary Overtime, which affect our nurses statewide.

Of primary concern to almost all state nurses is the issue of Mandatory Overtime (MOT). “This morning, BU 17 and 20 together met with the State to pass our voluntary and mandatory overtime article sections,” said Unit 17 Chair Vanessa Seastrong. “Today at the table a large volume of new proposals were presented from both bargaining teams to address these issues. We passed a total of 10 proposals, 4 for Unit 17 and 6 for Unit 20,” said Seastrong. “As we expected, the State received these MOT article sections but didn’t ask many clarifying questions, and we are still awaiting a counter proposal.”

BU 17 proposed the following article sections containing new language regarding Mandatory Overtime (MOT):

  • Article 19.14.17 – Overtime Mandatory Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.15.17 – Overtime Mandatory Scheduling (Excluding CDCR) (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.22.17 – Overtime Voluntary Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.23.17 – Overtime Voluntary Scheduling (Excluding CDCR) (Unit 17)

BU 20 proposed these article sections addressing MOT for their unit as well:

  • Article 19.13.20 – Overtime Mandatory Scheduling – Excluding CDCR LVNs and CNAs (Unit 20)
  • Article 19.14.20 – Overtime Mandatory Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services LVNs (Unit 20)
  • Article 19.15.20 – Overtime Mandatory Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services CNAs (Unit 20)
  • Article 19.21.20 – Overtime Voluntary Scheduling – Excluding CDCR LVNs and CNAs (Unit 20)
  • Article 19.22.20 – Overtime Voluntary Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services LVNs (Unit 20)
  • Article 19.23.20 – Overtime Voluntary Scheduling – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services CNAs (Unit 20)

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

Currently, a holdover of less than two hours is not counted as mandatory overtime. “This is an inconvenience and demoralizing for many of our members,” said BU 17 Alternate Vice Chair Bob Mutebi. “An hour means a lot of someone’s day. Our new proposal is to have a holdover of one hour to be counted as MOT.”

These issues led to the team proposing a change to the existing MOT language. “We proposed that the State reduce the number of mandatory overtime shifts by one a year until we get to zero,” said BU 20 Chair Heather Markovich. “We also proposed language to strengthen the voluntary overtime process.”

Currently, BU 17 RNs can be mandated for two overtime shifts per month, while BU 20 CNAs and LVNs have three. “We want to reduce this down to 1 for RNs and 2 for LVNs and CNAs,” said Seastrong. “We would continue to reduce MOT by one shift per year until 2025 when Unit 17 and 20 will both have zero.”

Other changes to the article sections strengthen contract language so that our workers can take the shifts that they want to work and gives state employees preference over external registry. “We want the state to address these article sections,” said Seastrong. “For the last three years, we’ve been in a Mandatory Overtime Task Force, and nothing was done. Without language to make them get this problem under control, we don’t think this issue will be solved. The state has violated this agreement in the past, so stronger language and protections are needed.”

Another ongoing issue addressed during the joint session was language proposed by the units that ensured that BU 17 and BU 20 nurses cannot be mandated into another bargaining unit position. “Unit 17 and Unit 20 are being mandated into other BU positions. “We are being used to plug gaps in the state’s workforce,” said Mutebi.

“Today, state workers stood up and told the State that this practice accounts for the huge turnover in the state’s workforce,” said Mutebi. “This represents a huge disrespect for our LVNs, who are forced to cover for workers making more money when they themselves are not paid equally,” said Markovich.

To ensure that these protections are enforced, bargaining units proposed language that includes penalties for the state when these terms are violated. “We included in this proposal that when mandatory overtime shifts are required of state workers after we bring them down to zero, the state will have to pay a penalty of double-time for any mandated shift,” said Markovich.

The two units worked together to present these major proposals to the State. These issues have been ongoing for years while managers have ignored the problem. By joining together, the two units were able to support each other and provide insight to the State regarding the impacts on nurses. “Mandatory overtime has a huge impact on nursing staff, so we have to come together to fight this issue, because it affects all of us, especially after all of us were working mandatory overtime during COVID,” said BU 20 Vice Chair Sarah Cooper.

The fight for this important protection is on. “The nurses’ actions in the workplace are what brought the State to the table on this issue in 2019,” said Seastrong. “We need to see that same energy now to move the State to take our proposals seriously. We need actions in the workplace so the State can see how bad the nurses want mandatory overtime to go away.”

“In 24-hour facilities, there is no separation between these units,” said Mutebi. “Neither of us can say our job is complete without each other. When we come together at the table, it shows the synergy of these two units fighting the injustices that the state is trying to put on our membership.”

In addition to article sections passed during the joint session, Unit 17 proposed the following rollover sections:

  • Article 19.4.17 – Meal Periods (Unit 17) 
  • Article 19.6.17 – Show Up Time (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.7.17 – Report Preparation Time (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.9.17 – Exchange of Days Off (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.16.17 – Change in Shift Assignment (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.17.17 – Mixed Shift Work Weeks (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.19.17 – Work Week Group (WWG) Definitions (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.24.17 – Floating (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.25.17 – Travel Time (Unit 17)
  • Article 19.26.17 – Workweek Correctional Institutions (Unit 17)

Finally, the State offered tentative agreements to the following article sections.

  • Article 8.13.17 – Court Appearances and/or Subpoenas (Excludes Unit 17)
  • Article 13.2.17 – Informal Performance Discussions (Unit 17)
  • Article 13.6.17 – Performance Appraisal (Unit 17)
  • Article 13.9.17 – Letters of Instruction (LOI)/Work Improvement Discussion (WID) (Unit 17)
  • Article 13.12.17 – Employment Opportunities (Unit 17)
  • Article 13.28.17 – Education and Training Opportunities and Resources (Unit 17)
  • Article 13.29.17 – Research Projects (Unit 17)
  • Article 14.4.17 – Duty Statements/Post Orders and Work Instructions (Unit 17)
  • Article 15.4.17 – Employee Opportunity Transfer (Unit 17)

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

After their morning session bargaining alongside Unit 20, Unit 17 had an active day at the table, focusing on rollover language. “It was a busy day on our end,” said Unit 17 Chair Vanessa Seastrong.

“We have given the State 61 article sections of new language and rollover, and we have only received 18 rollover back in total,” said Seastrong. “While receiving the TAs today was a good sign, the State still needs to start dealing with our new language and not just rollover. We have a number of easy article sections with simple changes that are still under review by the State.”

While the State moves through rollover language, SEIU Local 1000 members are ready to fight for a contract that represents the needs identified in their bargaining surveys and Town Hall meetings.

“We’re hoping that the State will come back and begin the negotiations of bargaining, not just tentative agreements for rollovers,” said Seastrong. “We want to get into the details of language changes. We are focused on action to move the State. Nurses are ready in workplaces across the state to take action to support our bargaining team.”

Unit 17’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 16. To read about what happened in Monday’s Bargaining Unit 11, 15, 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 17 Recap: Tuesday, May 2, 2023

We are entering our third week of bargaining with the State for a contract that respects, protects, and pays the workers who have kept California running. Our Unit 17 Bargaining Unit Negotiating Committee, or BUNC, went to the table on May 2 to focus on ways to keep our nurses safe and protected while on the job.

Our Unit 17 BUNC presented thirteen articles as “rollovers,” signaling our desire that the existing language remains unchanged, keeping in place the hard-won rights from previous contract campaigns. The articles proposed for rollover are the following: 

  • 13.2.17 –   Informal Performance Discussion
  • 13.9.17 –   Letters of Instruction (LOI) /Work Improvement Discussion (WID)
  • 13.12.17 – Employment Opportunities
  • 13.6.17 –   Performance Appraisal
  • 13.25.17 – Mandatory Training
  • 13.26.17 – Non-Mandatory Training
  • 13.27.17 – In-Service Training
  • 13.28.17 – Education and Training Opportunities and Resources
  • 13.29.17 – Research Projects
  • 14.4.17 –   Duty Statements / Post Orders, and Work Instructions
  • 14.20.17 – Classification Reviews
  • 15.4.17 –   Employees Opportunity Transfer
  • 16.7.17 – Continuation of Benefits

Additionally, the State agreed to four of our articles, and thus, a “tentative agreement” (TA) was reached on the following articles that were rolled over in last week’s negotiations.

  • 11.5.17 – Release of Paychecks – Night Shift or First Watch
  • 12.6.17 – Alternate Transportation
  • 12.10.17 – Replacement of Damaged Personal Clothing and/or Articles
  • 12.13.17 – Tools, Business Equipment, Materials, and Supplies

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

During today’s negotiations, the State requested evidence from a subject matter expert on safety. The BUNC was able to bring Charles Staubitz, an SEIU Local 1000 member working as a nurse instructor at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, to present on article 10.5.17 – Safety Orientation.

“It went very well,” said Vice Chair Mary Naidoo. “He made a brilliant presentation to the State about the backlog in training that has created enormous problems.”

Charles stood up for his coworkers and shared with the State the actual training that workers currently get, which covers basic elements of safety policies and procedures essential to doing their job. This training, already part of our contract, is essential to have before starting work in a correctional facility.

“This article currently gives the state 45 days to provide safety training to new employees. We have proposed that this training occurs upon the hiring of the employees. Having a current backlog of three months to one year is unacceptable. Our new members can end up making mistakes that cost them their jobs and can be catastrophic for the rest of us who work in institutions. One mistake by anyone can lead to the death of any of us,” said Alternate Vice Chair Bob Mutebi.

“We did not have as productive a day as we expected due to the State’s delays and time management issues,” said BUNC member Sheila Coonan. “These delays disrespect the time of the bargaining team, especially when we have so little time to move forward on these issues. We have more time-consuming articles that both sides know will require considerable back-and-forth discussion.”

“We have 8 more weeks to bargain before the deadline. With only nine (9) TA’s so far out of our total 47 articles proposed, we need the State to give us more. They’re moving at a snail’s pace,” said Chair Vanessa Seastrong.

Unit 17’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 9. To read about what happened in Tuesday’s other bargaining 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 17 Recap: Tuesday, April 25, 2023

The registered nurses who work in California prisons, veterans’ homes, developmental centers, mental health hospitals, Departments of Health Care Services and Public Health, special schools, and other departments represented by Local 1000—Bargaining Unit 17—went to the table with the State on April 25th for the second week of negotiations on unit-specific issues.

Our Unit 17 Bargaining Unit Negotiating Committee (BUNC) presented eight articles as “rollovers,” signaling our desire that the existing language remains unchanged, keeping in place the hard-won rights from previous contract campaigns. The rollover articles include the following provisions from Articles 11 and 12: 

  • 11.2.17 – School for the Deaf and Blind Pay Differential
  • 11.3.17 – Salary Definition
  • 11.5.17 – Release of Paychecks – NOC Shift or First Watch
  • 11.18.17 – Retirement Compensation
  • 11.58.17 – Arduous Pay Differential
  • 12.6.17 – Alternate Transportation
  • 12.10.17 – Replacement of Damaged Personal Clothing and/or Articles
  • 12.13.17 -Tools, Business Equipment, Materials and Supplies

Additionally, this afternoon, the BUNC proposed new language in the following four contract provisions with financial implications to our members:

  • 11.6.17 – Overtime Checks
  • 11.56.17 – Registered Nurse Lead Differential
  • 11.57.17 – Educational Differential
  • 12.18.17 – License Renewal Fees

Finally, the State agreed to five rollover proposals, and thus, a “tentative agreement” was reached on the following provisions:

  • 10.10.17 – Medical Monitoring
  • 10.15.17 – Personal Alarms: CDCR
  • 10.16.17 – Alarm System: DDS and DSH
  • 10.18.17 – Referral of Assault/Battery
  • 10.36.17 – Incident Debriefing

The articles proposed today that have financial impacts for our members represent an important response to a contentious issue for BU 17 members. “We have issues at some of our worksites where the state delays overtime paychecks up to a year, which is both disrespectful to workers and impacts their pay,” said BUNC Alternate Vice Chair Bob Mutebi. “The night shift lead differential of $150 has been in place since 1999. In spite of the changes over the years, the state is resistant to adjust this to reflect inflation and cost of living changes.”

Additionally, the reimbursement of license renewals fees is often delayed due to the CalATERS reimbursement process, which makes it very difficult for our members to receive the money they are owed. “We want to be reimbursed directly within 60 days of when our licenses expire,” said Mutebi. “With the difficult procedure we have now with CalATERS, many workers give up before the process is completed.”

While this represents a large number of articles sent across the table by the BUNC, the negotiating team has noticed a serious issue with the State’s willingness to address critical issues to our members. “We are not even negotiating on many of these articles yet,” said BUNC 17 Chair Vanessa Seastrong. “We gave them 16 articles for rollover last week, and only received 5 back. This is a disturbing signal that it will take a long time to get through our 92 articles that we need to negotiate. We want to move through these minor issues as soon as possible so we can get to the more meaningful issues that matter to our members.”

Simple language changes proposed by the BUNC are under extensive and unnecessary review by the State’s negotiators. While these kinds of delays are not new, this particular State bargaining team has worked with Unit 17 before and should have a thorough understanding of which issues at play are critical and which are procedural.

“We’re asking the State why they are so resistant to making changes to language that deals with non-financial issues when these are existing protections from earlier contracts, sometimes for many years,” said Seastrong. “Moving past these items, while they are important, would help both sides get to the meaningful changes that we need for our members.”

Our negotiating team is interested in an equitable conversation, not delays over minutia that wastes time and delays important resolutions. “The state of California is supposed to be a union-friendly, progressive state,” said BUNC 17 Vice Chair Mary Naidoo. “We should not be experiencing these kinds of difficulties with our process. The State had a whole week to address articles for which they have never shown they have a problem or made any statements that they had any concerns about.”

These concerns will influence our strategy going forward. “We are going to be choosing our words carefully as we move forward so that we can focus on the issues that matter most to our members: respect in the workplace and equitable pay for all members,” said BUNC 17 member Shelia Coonan.

As always, the State’s responses to bargaining are rooted in the amount of pressure SEIU Local 1000 members apply when on the job. “We are passionate at the table and can speak for what is important to our members. We know the low salaries, high turnover and backlogs are hurting our members and their families. We need actions and noise at the workplace. We need noise.  The organized action and the noise in the workplace will support our efforts at the table,” said BUNC member Felicia Barbato. “We increase the pressure as the State feels the heat from members statewide.”

Unit 17’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 2nd. 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 17 Recap: Tuesday, April 18, 2023

After kicking off bargaining for our “master table” session last week, members across the state are making their voices heard as we demand a strong contract that Respects, Protects, and Pays the employees that kept California running for the last three years.

On April 18, Bargaining Unit 17 (BU 17), went to the table to begin their unit-specific negotiations with the State. BU 17, which represents registered nurses, is prepared for a long negotiation to get members the pay and respect they have demanded. Our negotiating team is using what they saw earlier in the process to strategize on how best to move forward and prioritize issues that members identified as important in town halls, bargaining surveys, and worksite visits.

“We looked at each and every submission from our members,” said Bob Mutebi, Bargaining Unit Negotiating Committee (BUNC) Alternate Vice Chair for BU 17. “Each article was considered based on this set of data, which determined what we would roll over and what we would propose changes to.”

During Tuesday’s session, our team presented a number of contract articles for “rollover,” a term used to describe parts of the contract that don’t require negotiation this cycle. We rolled over 16 articles Tuesday, with additional minor language changes to 5 articles focused on health and safety concerns. Setting these protections aside during bargaining ensures that we will be able to address the ongoing issues without risking these workplace protections crucial to medical and social services.

“The most important feedback we’ve received from Registered Nurses statewide is work/life balance, scheduling, and salaries”, stated Vanessa Seastrong, Unit 17 Chair.

BU 17 has the most individual articles of all the bargaining units in the contract, with 92 articles whereas most other units have 30 to 40, so negotiations will take longer to go through each article. “Building our strategies around the responses from CalHR allows us to be flexible,” said Seastrong. “These were simple word changes, things that could be handled fairly easily, and we are expecting to have a response from the State next week.”

With this in mind, for upcoming sessions of bargaining, BU17 is going to focus on a strategic approach to address salaries, health, and safety, as well as recruitment and retention issues that have plagued Registered Nurses. 

“This is a long process. A lot of these issues are going to go back and forth for a while,” said Felicia Barbato, an RN at the California Department of Public Health for 11 years and a member of the BUNC. “Our success at the table is dependent on the strength and unity of our members.”

“Our members can and do bring the State to the table on issues that are important to us. Members can support their bargaining team at their worksites with Purple Up Wednesdays and by attending events and participating in actions,” said Seastrong.”

Unit 17’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for April 25. To read about what happened in Tuesday’s Bargaining Unit 1, 3, and 4 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.