Our Unit 21 (Educational Consultants and Librarians) bargaining team continues to press state negotiators for recognition and reward for contributions they make to California, for the high level of expertise and experience their job classifications demand, and for the adverse working conditions they experience due to untenable workloads and a high vacancy rate.

“Respect us, protect us, and pay us isn’t a campaign slogan, it’s a demand,” said Bobby Roy, Unit 21 Bargaining Chair. “We are presenting contract proposals that will make all three of those demands real for Unit 21’s represented employees.”

Today, we called for respect and pay by proposing stronger language for 11.65.21 – Arduous Pay Differential. Our classifications don’t offer overtime or CTO for additional work, which is prevalent due to high vacancy rates. We’re calling for contract changes that will compel management to provide timely answers for requests for this differential, and for the ability to use a grievance/arbitration procedure when denials are unreasonable.

Several subject matter experts from Unit 21 were on hand to present our proposal and back it up with a compelling presentation. Click here to learn more about the issue.

We also are making a “pay us” demand with new language in 11.2.21 – Special Salary Adjustments in the following three classifications: Nursing Educational Consultant (58%); Transportation Program Consultants (14.28%); and Private Postsecondary Education Senior Specialists (5%).

Six of our Nursing Educational Consultants (NECs) joined the bargaining session to illustrate their need for respect and parity and a 58% Special Salary Adjustment. “This is a classification that is facing a 41% vacancy rate, demands an experienced, licensed nurse with additional educational degrees, yet pays $11,000 a year less than registered nurses fresh out of school,” said Chair Bobby Roy.

Local 1000 is making a concerted effort to show that state workers aren’t anonymous lines on a spreadsheet—they are dedicated professionals. These SSAs would reward them for their commitment.

Grace Clerk is a NEC, working in Redlands for the Department of Consumer Affairs, where she “protects the state, protects the health care providers, and the patients,” but asks, “Who protects the Nursing Education Consultant?” She wants to be recognized as a nurse “who has dedicated my life to my passion. I am not a nameless person behind a computer.”

Towards that goal of recognition, and to stave off a growing vacancy rate, Unit 21 today proposed a new language calling for a 5% Recruitment and Retention differential for NECs.

We continue to make progress on other fronts, reaching tentative agreement on seven “rollover” articles from previous contract wins, all focused on the concept of “protecting” Unit 21-represented employees. In addition, we presented two additional articles to the state, also existing articles, for “rollover” – 13.6.21 Performance Appraisal of Permanent Employees, and 21.17.21 Recognition of Authorship.

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

Unit 21 returns to the table next week, on Monday, May 15. To see updates on other bargaining unit contract sessions, click here for our Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org.

If you’re not already an SEIU Local 1000 member, join us today