At bargaining Town Halls earlier this year, workload issues were reiterated again and again from San Diego to Sacramento. And workloads were once again a leading issue as Bargaining Unit 21 went to the table on July 9, 2019, to negotiate a new contract with the state.

As representatives for 500+ educational consultants, state librarians and archivists, the work that Unit 21 does has a direct impact on many educational institutions. The conversation started with outlining a deeper understanding of member workloads and presenting the state with what that reality looks like when vacancies remain unfilled, sometimes even for years. A subject matter expert from the California Chancellor’s Office was also brought in to further emphasize the point.

Today’s session was an introduction of BU 21 with the state team who are new to the bargaining table. Examples provided the state with a real-life view of our member experiences.  By putting what our members do into context for the state to understand, it elevates their importance while converting them from a box on a spreadsheet into a living, breathing person.

The bargaining team proposed maintaining the current contract provisions:

  1. Educational leave
  2. Voluntary personal leave program
  3. 10-12 leave
  4. Arduous pay differential
  5. Pre-retirement death benefit

Today’s conversation highlighted how the people in Unit 21 ensure our education systems are successful, our public’s needs are met and that our agencies maintain a focus on ensuring adequate staffing levels and positive work environments.

“Our first day was about emphasizing the dedication our members have in serving our state and beginning to retain many of our hard-fought rights,” said Miguel Cordova, Unit 21 Chair and Educational Consultant at the California Dept. of Education. Next steps include having a deeper more expansive conversation around pay. The sides will meet again next Tuesday, July 16th.