Union Update, Local 1000’s weekly newsletter, provides members with the latest union news including organizing and enforcement victories, political activities, union campaigns, member profiles and special events. Union Update is distributed at worksites every Wednesday and is also available for download on our website.
Due to the end of the year, the weekly newsletter will be on hold until the new year. Expect it back on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. Until then, we wish you safe travels, happy holidays and a wonderful new year.
Local 1000 leveraged our collective power to get relief for members at the State Special Schools who were struggling with delays in State Special Schools Benefit (SSSB) funds. SSSB funds are a type of unemployment benefit for employees of the State Special Schools run by the California Department of Education (CDE).
Local 1000 members and staff met several times over the past eight months with department representatives. The union forced management to identify what was causing delays and to find ways to minimize those delays.
Local 1000 has launched its 2016 contract campaign with these words from President Yvonne R. Walker: “Our contract will be about the strength and the power of our members to win something amazing.”
Speaking to members statewide on a conference call for Local 1000 stewards and hundreds more who heard the call at listening parties, Walker looked forward to the upcoming negotiations feeling confident about the preparation that’s gone before.
Local 1000 is spearheading a coalition of labor, faith and social justice groups to expand programs that address the growing retirement crisis facing millions of Californians.
Last month, our union cohosted a coalition-building event that released research reviewing this growing crisis and what Californians will face at retirement age without new policies to change the future.
A Local 1000 member has had his 5% annual Merit Salary Adjustment restored after it was denied in June of 2015. Local 1000’s Union Resource Center (URC) filed a grievance, arguing the denial was unreasonable after management failed to establish any performance problems.
Two representation wins for members who were initially denied sick leave prove, once again, that the collective strength of Local 1000 can make all the difference for members facing the indifferent bureaucracy of state government during a time of personal need.
Local 1000 members and community partners stood up for stronger action on immigration reform at a press conference held November 20—the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration—calling on working families to hold politicians accountable for policies that tear families apart and weaken our economy.
At Local 1000, we make reflection an important part of our work. And Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect and be thankful for what we have and how we can use what we’ve been blessed with to better the lives of others.
As state workers, we are fortunate to have pensions but less than half of private sector workers in California have any retirement benefits at all through their employers. And nearly half of ALL Californians working today are on track to retire into poverty.
False accusations are painful and can damage reputations. So when two LVNs at the California Correctional Institute in Tehachapi were blamed for a discrepancy in a pill count after their shift, Local 1000 mobilized our legal and representation resources to help these two members clear their names.
Local 1000’s Statewide Bargaining Advisory Committee (SBAC) met on November 14 and 15 in San Jose to plan, train and outline visions and strategies to ensure our members’ priorities are moved forward at the bargaining table and beyond. Central to the gathering was the challenge for members to come forward and present a strong, united front to secure the best contract possible.
November 11 is Veterans Day. As a veteran of the Marine Corps and the daughter of a Marine, Veterans Day is a special holiday for me. It is a day that, with solemnity and pride, we honor the people who choose to step forward and risk everything in service to their country.
That spirit of sacrifice and honor is what fills our country and our state with hope and promise. We can all draw inspiration from the examples of our veterans by stepping up when we are called to service—whether it be to our families, to our communities or to our coworkers.
The Fresno Action Committee, the Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) for the Fresno Covered California office, is building a voice for workers to demand respect at that worksite. A recent meeting resulted in management conceding a number of items, including the right of workers to have a coffee and water club, to monitor their cell phones for emergencies and to have ample time to check emails and study.
On October 23, Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker accepted an invitation from Central Coast members to tour the correctional facilities in Soledad, and the visit provided an opportunity to connect members from across the state with important struggles that are going on there. It also helped solidify alliances the union is making to honor our Purpose Statement’s directive to build better and more sustainable communities for all Californians.
Local 1000 members at the California School for the Deaf (CSD) took action to protest unfair coaching salary schedules that have deaf coaches being paid less—sometimes as little as half—than the salaries of their hearing counterparts at other schools. During the CSD Fremont homecoming game against rivals CSD Riverside on October 17, members created an organized presence, setting up a booth and handing out “Support Our Coaches” stickers and fliers to call attention to the unequal pay.
By taking collective action, we will make $15 and a union a central economic demand of our time. We are marching on city halls this time because city halls are the local symbol of our nation’s broken political system. We are joining together to elect and hold accountable politicians who support the middle class and a living wage for all workers.
To join us at the Sacramento or Oakland actions or to find a November 10 action near you, visit us at seiu1000.org/nov10
A dedicated group of Local 1000 members who provide lifesaving treatment under challenging conditions are being honored this week, along with thousands of their professional brothers and sisters across the nation.
This week is Respiratory Care Week. Our Respiratory Therapists work up and down the state in correctional facilities and state hospitals and deserve thanks for their efforts to help patients experience a healthier quality of life.
Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker was the keynote speaker at a groundbreaking October 14 conference on retirement security called “Building Tomorrow’s California: New Visions for Retirement Security” that brought together activists from labor, faith and social justice groups to take a hard look at the retirement crisis and began to craft solutions that will work for all Californians.
Nearly two dozen member leaders from across the state gathered at Local 1000’s Sacramento office October 12–16 to participate in a dynamic new leadership development program. The program is designed to recognize and mentor effective leaders to build Union power and solidarity as we prepare to bargain a new contract as well as fight off continuing attacks on the union.
After a dangerous and deceptive pension initiative failed to gain support, right-wing extremists Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio have come out with two new proposals that continue their efforts to degrade the hard-earned pension benefits of public employees.
While their new approach appears to dial back the threat to current workers, the new attacks are just as dangerous. Everyone who cares about the economic security of California as a large segment of our population moves toward retirement should take this multi-pronged attack very seriously.
Our 2015 legislative agenda—a yearlong effort to make politics matter for our members and all Californians—was capped this week when Gov. Brown signed the Local 1000-supported Senate Bill 343 into law.
Titled “CDCR Librarians and Inmate Community College Incentives,” the new law adds Unit 3 librarians to the CDCR rehabilitation team and reflects their role in preparing prison inmates for successful parole. The bill also adds incentives for the completion of two- and four-year college degrees.
A supervisor at DGS has been reassigned and no longer manages workers after Local 1000 won a grievance against workplace bullying.
Local 1000 is committed to creating and maintaining emotionally healthy workplaces for the state workers we represent. We recognize that hostility and unprofessionalism are unsafe working conditions and we take these threats to our workers seriously.
Two DGS employees came to the union to get relief from an oppressive situation that was making the workplace unbearable for them.
Local 1000 provides crucial representation to our members, not only at the bargaining table, but by backing up workers in the day-to-day interactions with management bureaucracy that can affect career advancement.
One of our members at Child Support Services recently experienced just that kind of support after coming to the union for assistance with getting management to remove outdated performance-related materials from his file. The contents of a state worker’s supervisor’s file can have a major impact on their ability to promote and take advantage of career opportunities.
The Local 1000-supported goal of creating a retirement safety net for Californians with no workplace plan came nearer its goal on September 28 as the Secure Choice Retirement board considered detailed information about how that state-run plan should work. Local 1000 was there to make sure our members’ voices are heard as important decisions are made on this groundbreaking program.
The member works as a Program Tech II, Permanent Intermittent. The member was written up several times for misusing sick leave and being out on military leave without proper authorization. The Covered California employee is a member of the armed forces in the reserves who is called into active duty for training every year.
Ignoring our contract language and the members’ rights, Covered California management denied her medical and military orders, insisting that medical notes be explicit and demanding letters from her commander for every day that she was out on military leave.
Pope Francis’ first visit to the U. S. since being elected to the papacy in 2013 provided Local 1000’s Latino/Latina Committee with the opportunity to host two nights of discussion on the visit’s significance. Called “Connecting Common Values: Income Inequality, Environment, Immigration, Race” the forums were held September 15 and 22 at Local 1000’s Sacramento Field Office in partnership with Sacramento Area Congregations Together (ACT).
The movement for dignity and solidarity in Bargaining Unit 15 is growing at Napa State Hospital. A large worksite action organized by custodians there is calling public attention to unsafe conditions and forcing management to the table to address a variety of worker concerns.
As a member political organizer in San Diego, Tammy Endozo has listened to many politicians talk about what they would do if elected. As a legislative fellow working out of Local 1000’s Sacramento office, she’s had a chance to see how many of them actually hold to the promises they’ve made. It’s been an eye-opening experience for her, reinforcing the importance of members being involved and active in the electoral process.
Two Local-1000 sponsored bills are on the governor’s desk, awaiting signature before the October 11 deadline. Four other bills supported by the union are on a two-year track as Local 1000 continues to push an aggressive legislative agenda.
“We’re making politics matter for our members by driving legislation that affects our lives at work and in our communities,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president. “We’re demonstrating the power of our membership at the Capitol.
Local 1000 Steward Wandra Pitts believes her work representing her coworkers doesn’t stop at the office door.
An Associate Government Program Analyst at CalPERS, she’s halfway through a year’s union leave, working at Local 1000’s Union Resource Center (URC), solving problems for members facing challenges in the workplace.
When Meghan Burkhart was growing up in the San Joaquin Valley, her father worked in the migrant farm camps. That influence gave Burkhart two important perspectives on the world: that we are tied to the land by the food we eat and that the hands that provide the labor can join together to raise each other up.
So when Burkhart entered state service two years ago working in the call center at the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), signing on with the union that represents 95,000 state workers was as natural to her values as buying California-grown produce.
Last week, Sacramento’s Income Inequality Task Force recommended an increase in the city’s minimum wage to $12.50 an hour by 2020. The recommendation will now go before the City Council for review and public comment before a final decision is reached.
“We have raised the debate about income inequality and will continue the fight for fair wages throughout California so that no one who works full time lives in poverty,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president.
Organizing by our members at the Yountville Veteran’s Home is changing a culture of disrespect and abuse there and sending a message to other worksites in Bargaining Unit 15 that solidarity works and that we are always stronger together.
Local 1000 activists went to the Capitol on August 26 to lobby on behalf of our members.
Representing worksites and DLCs from across the state, the members brought our issues to legislators through face-to-face conversations. Making these personal connections ensures that the people who make laws understand the real consequences of their decisions on the working people of California.
The member-lobbyists received training in the morning and then traveled to the Capitol with an important goal: show lawmakers that politics matter to Local 1000 members.
Our 63-member Bargaining Unit Negotiating Council (BUNC) recently spent three days training intensively for upcoming contract negotiations. Local 1000’s contract expires July 1, 2016 – just ten months from now.
Bargaining strategies and tactics were key topics, along with discussions about member engagement. The focus: honing the skills necessary to negotiate a fair contract that protects our hard-earned rights from previous contracts while improving our wages, working conditions and benefits.
Scores of Local 1000 members were joined by community activists from across the Sacramento region August 25 for a town hall addressing the growing wealth disparity in our economy and what working people can do to stand up for each other.
When Annie Chao took a poll of her coworkers at the Department of Insurance (DOI) in Los Angeles, she found that many had a desire to telework.
A new steward out of the Leadership Apprentice Program for Stewards (LAPS), Chao immediately put her training to work researching options that would help meet that need. LAPS had provided her with a steward toolkit of organizing actions to win important workplace rights for her coworkers.
“I started with the contract,” Chao said. “I found there’s a provision in there for teleworking.”
A team of Local 1000 member activists are at the Capitol today to talk face-to-face with lawmakers and their staff in support of bills sponsored or backed by Local 1000.
Politics is one of the important ways that our union brings change to our members’ lives. We maximize our impact at the Capitol by empowering members to lobby on issues they have identified as priorities.
As the possibility for narrowing the income gap comes closer to reality for low wage workers in Sacramento, Local 1000 members are pushing to keep the needs of the working families top-of-mind for the city’s decision makers. At the third meeting of Sacramento’s Income Inequality Task Force on August 12, our members took their turn at the public comment podium to give voice to the real experiences of working Californians—and their community partners—who struggle to live on minimum wage.
The deadly 2016 pension-gutting ballot initiative designed to bypass collective bargaining and threaten the retirement security of all public employees has passed another milestone, receiving a official title and summary from California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Titled the “Public Employees. Pension and Retiree Healthcare Benefits. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” the ballot measure “eliminates constitutional protections for vested pension and retiree healthcare benefits for current public employees.”
There’s a word for managers who yell, play favorites, deny hard-earned working conditions and trample the rights of workers who engage in union activities: bullies. And when your boss is a bully, you need someone to be a champion for you. For an increasing number of our members, that champion is Joel Chan.
At a first-time meeting between Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Executive Officer Selvi Stanislaus and 20 Local 1000 stewards from that department, the union set out our road map to creating a cooperative, mutually-beneficial environment for workers and management.
“We’re here to build a relationship with FTB leadership based on support and collaboration,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president. “We can accomplish a lot together by communicating on critical issues and working together to find solutions.”
On July 23, the Unit 15 Upward Mobility Team met with the state’s representatives in a Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC) as part of a continuing dialogue about gaps in the various departments’ upward mobility programs.
Along with Chair Jesse Aranda (DSH), the team is comprised of Garth Underwood (CDCR), Shavone Brown (DGS) and Ellis Washington (EDD), as well as staff from Local 1000’s contract department.
Nearly 200 bargaining representatives from across the state voted this weekend to elect Local 1000’s 63-member Bargaining Unit Negotiating Council (BUNC). These member activists and leaders will be responsible for negotiating the successor contract. The current contract expires July 1 of 2016.
Representatives from each of the nine state bargaining units met Saturday afternoon and evening to elect their bargaining teams.
Stewards are at the core of Local 1000’s power, the crucial connection between the members in the workplace and the union. So when one of our representatives is treated unfairly for doing the work of the union, they’ve picked a fight we’ll take to the mat.
A key component of Local 1000’s vision for Retirement Security for all Californians can move forward thanks to action by President Obama. On July 13, the President ordered his Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, to create a set of rules for states by year’s end that will make it easier for them to set up and run retirement savings programs for workers without access to 401(k) plans.
Local 1000 is taking an active role in shaping the future of the state work force and is working to ensure that the employees who carry out California’s business reflect the diversity of the populations they serve.
Generational shift coming
As the baby boom generation approaches retirement and millennials estimated to reach 75 percent of the work force in 10 years, the union and state lawmakers have identified an important opportunity to influence the future face of state work.
The Young DLC (Driving Leadership and Change), a 35-and-under group of members who meet regularly to engage with the state workers of their generation, is one example of Local 1000’s commitment to creating a path to state service that is truly open to all Californians. Among its many outreach activities, the Young DLC hosts a number of career-building workshops designed to help state workers and prospective employees navigate the sometimes confusing path to working for California.
Local 1000 stopped the State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund) from implementing a serious violation of our contract by introducing performance standards in the workplace without notifying and bargaining with the union. As a result of our pressure, State Fund has agreed to suspend the controversial program and meet with Local 1000.
Local 1000 representation led to two Unit 11 workers receiving thousands of dollars in back pay after the union forced the state to correct errors in wages and benefit deductions.
“These wins are another example of the contract enforcement efforts Local 1000 provides to all members,” said Tamekia N. Robinson, Local 1000 vice president for organizing and representation. “Even bureaucratic mistakes cost members the money they’ve earned, and we’re here to help.”
Seventy Local 1000 members at the Employment Development Department (EDD) stepped up to soften the blow for some of their coworkers who faced reduced hours. As a result, what would have been a major reduction in work and pay for a few people was distributed among a larger group for a much less significant negative impact.
In just one year, the working conditions, wages and benefits of Local 1000 employees will be governed by a new contract—our current contract expires on June 30, 2016—and preparations are already underway by our bargaining teams to build negotiating strength.
More than 200 elected members from various classifications in our nine bargaining units meet regularly to map out strategies and a timeline for negotiations, which will begin in the spring of 2016.
Hard-fought contract wins continue to pay off for represented employees
Local 1000-represented employees will receive a 2.5 percent salary increase beginning July 1. This is the second portion of an across-the-board pay raise negotiated in 2013 that totaled 4.5 percent. State employees will see the higher amounts in their August 1 paychecks.
“These increases over the last two years are much-deserved and well-earned after state employees shared the pain of recession and the state’s fiscal crisis,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president.
Local 1000’s new leadership took the oath of office on Sunday, beginning a new era for the union as it prepares for challenges and opportunities that face our members and our families.
Fifty-one new and returning District Labor Council (DLC) presidents were sworn in. These DLC leaders have a seat on our Board of Directors—commonly called the Local 1000 Council—and represent thousands of members that live and work in those DLCs.
Swift and decisive action by Local 1000’s legal department shut down a hostile manager’s suppression of our members’ right to conduct union activities at Department of Social Services (DSS). The union’s determination to not let bullying behavior stand forced DSS to agree to completely withdraw spurious charges against our members.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to get these kinds of bogus adverse actions removed,” said Tamekia N. Robinson, vice president for organizing/representation. “There’s no way we will tolerate bullying of our stewards.”
A new ballot initiative filed last week to appear on the 2016 ballot, would bypass the collective bargaining table and effectively freeze retirement benefits for Local 1000-represented employees at the current contract level, requiring voter approval for any enhancement of those benefits.
Any alterations in cost of living adjustments, pension calculations, changes in vesting or lowering the age of retirement eligibility would all be subject to a statewide vote—even if they are successfully bargained in a contract.
Local 1000 members are monitoring the implementation of a new electronic records system that will streamline health care services in state prisons. Called Electronic Health Records System (EHRS), the system will begin its rollout in October.
When Jose Eric Alcaraz joined Local 1000, he got more than workplace representation; he discovered a conduit to the larger community issues he had wanted to be involved with all his life. “It’s the outlet I needed,” Alcaraz said.
A victory for Local 1000 at the State Personnel Board (SPB) led to two abusive managers being seriously disciplined and showed how our strong contract enforcement efforts help members find relief from unfair and discriminatory working conditions.
Parents and providers pushing for substantive relief in the state’s child care system are closer than ever to real reform and showed solidarity at a June 3 rally at the Capitol in a final push for SB 548, the Raising Child Care Quality and Accessibility Act.
Sponsored by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, SB 548 seeks to fix California’s child care system and break the cycle of poverty caused by lack of quality, affordable care for families
A coalition of anti-union, anti-public employee groups, including the National Right to Work Committee, launched their latest attack against public employee pensions and the hard-earned retirement security of state workers.
Their misleading campaign, called the “Voter Empowerment Act of 2016,” would undermine collective bargaining and require voter approval for changes to pensions and other retirement benefits, including medical insurance. The initiative will soon move into the signature-gathering phase and will appear on the ballot next year.
Yvonne R. Walker has been re-elected as president of Local 1000, earning 53 percent of the vote total, a 29-point margin over the next runner-up.
“We have accomplished a lot together, including a contract that included a pay increase and protected the benefits and pensions of our members,” said Walker. “Looking forward, we’ll continue our work to build a stronger union by engaging our members and developing new leaders.”
Maureen Thompson is returning to her job with a fresh outlook on Local 1000’s work after completing a three-month legislative fellowship at our Sacramento headquarters.
Thompson’s fellowship opened up a new world for the member who has already served the union as a job steward, District Bargaining Unit Representative (DBUR) for District Labor Council (DLC) 741 and delegate to the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council.
Thompson gained a sharper perspective on the challenges Local 1000 faces in this time of big money anti-labor attacks.
On Wednesday, May 13, State Controller Betty Yee met with Local 1000 stewards from her department to talk over their concerns and set a fresh tone of openness and cooperation in her new administration’s relationship with its workers.
In Anthony Harrison’s workspace at EDD, he keeps a sign that says, “The changes we seek in our communities begin with us.” Harrison says the sign sums up this view of making the world a better place: involvement is everything. And Harrison wants to be involved.
Local 1000’s work to provide retirement security for all Californians continued on April 27 as the California Secure Choice Board met to discuss the best options to help millions of private sector workers save for retirement.
President Yvonne R. Walker, a Secure Choice board member, described the group’s efforts to develop legislation that will set up a retirement savings plan that can be accessed by workers whose employers don’t provide one.
Local 1000’s ongoing effort to improve Covered California’s labor relations resulted in three employees receiving about $35,000 in back pay and that relatively new workplace receiving another critical lesson in respect for a unionized workforce.
Local 1000’s ongoing campaign to update the job specifications of nearly 4,000 Program Technicians (PT) got a boost when the state agreed to jointly interview workers about their duties in several key departments.
Next week, the governor will announce his May Revise proposed budget for 2015-16, with updates based on tax revenues collected through April of this year.
“Local 1000 will carefully scrutinize the evolving budget and work to restore spending on the vital services our members provide,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president. “Once again, politics matter as we work to improve the lives of all Californians.”
For people in more than 80 countries this Friday, May 1, is a national holiday that honors labor and working people. It is often referred to as International Workers’ Day, Labor Day or just May Day.
Although May Day is not a legal holiday in the United States, SEIU and many unions as well as our allies use May 1 to highlight issues of income inequality, worker dignity and, especially in recent years, immigration reform.
All six Local 1000-sponsored bills cleared key legislative committees this week, including a bill to force the state to stop laying off workers and replacing them with private contractors.
“Our legislative agenda has gotten through the first set of hurdles,” said Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker. “We have a lot more work to do to ensure these bills all get through the Legislature and are signed by the governor. We need our members to step up and actively support these important pieces of legislation.”
For Crystal McCray and several thousand other Local 1000 members in a variety of departments, every day is Earth Day.
“I’m proud that my state job is to promote environmental justice and foster healthy communities,” said McCray, a sustainability coordinator at the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) in Sacramento. “My work at CalEPA is consistent with my values and our Purpose Statement at Local 1000. We work every day to promote the quality of life in our state.”
Local 1000 members joined thousands of low-wage workers and their supporters in rallies and marches across California on April 15 to mark the Fight for $15 and a Union National Day of Action.
“Let there be no mistake.In California, we will have $15 and a union. Local 1000 will be in the street for as long as it takes until we get what we need for working people.”
—Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 President
On Wednesday, thousands of people are joining fast-food workers, retail employees, child care workers, home care providers, airport workers and adjunct professors in rallies up and down the state and in more than 60 cities across the nation to demand fair pay for hard work: $15 and a Union.
“No one working full-time should have to live in poverty,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president. “We stand with these workers to ensure their prosperity and their ability to provide a dignified living for their families.”
Thanks to the persistent efforts of organized members at the California Board of Equalization (BOE), employees no longer have to contend with an unnecessary and patronizing “motivational” program.
Called “The Four Disciplines of Execution”, or 4DX for short, the program is the work of an outside consulting firm which used ineffective and sometimes insulting graphics and acronyms in a failed attempt to inspire workers to meet goals.
Calling for greater safety in a dangerous workplace, Local 1000 members at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) took action to get long-broken emergency call lights repaired. After their demands for a fix went unheeded by management, they took their concerns to Assemblymember Luis Alejo and Soledad Vice Mayor Alejandro Chavez and marched on Soledad City Hall.
“It’s going to make a world of difference in patient care,” said SVSP licensed vocational nurse Michael Strauss. “And patient care is the most important thing.”
On April 15, Local 1000 will be out in full force on the National Day of Action in the Fight for $15 and a Union, demanding that corporate America pay all workers a living wage. Local 1000’s commitment to economic justice for all Californians means we stand strong for fair wages.
FIGHT for FIFTEEN on 4-15
Mark your calendar to join the National Day of Action “4/15.” To find a rally near you, visit the Local 1000 website seiu1000.org/april15
Come out to make our voice even stronger and help us make history!
“In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality child care more than ever. It’s not a ‘nice-to-have.’ It’s a ‘must-have.’ So it’s time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or as a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.” -President Barack Obama
Local 1000 members honored Cesar Chavez by marching and participating in a variety of events remembering the labor leader on March 28 in Sacramento, Davis, Los Angeles and Fresno.
In Sacramento, Local 1000 members and staff attended an event to honor Chavez on Saturday, March 28. The crowd marched from Southside Park to the Capitol. Speakers addressed issues such as immigration reform, economic justice and the fight for clean, healthy communities for working families.
By enforcing our 2013 contract, a determined group of stewards has forced their division of the Department of Social Services (DSS) to accept joint labor management committees (JLMC) statewide and at all of its regional offices.
Local 1000 fought for JLMCs through a stewards’ grievance, affirmed by CalHR in a March 10 decision entitling 1200 DSS employees in the Disability Determination Service Division (DDSD) to actively participate in workplace change.
On April 15, Local 1000 will be out in full force on the National Day of Action in the Fight for $15 and a Union, demanding that corporate America pay all workers a living wage. Local 1000’s commitment to economic justice for all Californians means we stand strong for fair wages.
The strongest steel is forged from the hottest flame. Like in the case of Bobby Roy, an Education Programs Consultant with the California Department of Education, life’s turns can feel like Hell, but the heat can forge your strength and push you toward success. It also helps if your army in battle is Local 1000.
In 2000, Bobby Roy’s mother, a preschool teacher at the YMCA, died and left the 21-year old with their South Sacramento house and the care of his grandmother. His mother also blessed him with a concrete goal for survival.
Local 1000 helped prison dental assistants win a new post and bid scheduling system as part of an ongoing grievance fight that also led to a $1.5 million settlement in 2014.
Under the new post and bid system, employees will be able to bid on 90 percent of the shifts to be filled with only 10 percent to be filled at the discretion of management. The bidding starts April 1 with the new schedules to be implemented this summer for 550 dental assistants who work for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
A Local 1000 delegation joined other SEIU members, staff, officers and non-union workers from across the country for the IGNITE! Sparking Leadership Conference March 7-10 in St. Louis. IGNITE partici-pants spent four days sharing their stories, exploring the connections between economic and social jus- tice, and visualizing what it would mean to win $15 an hour for millions of workers.
Following a very strong member response to a survey sent by Unit 17 and Unit 20, against an early post and bid, Local 1000 aggressively enforced our contract and won our effort to protect jobs for our nurses. After pressure from the union on several fronts, the receiver managing California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) agreed to wait until October to open the post and bid process, effectively shelving dangerous plans to reallocate staff and cut overtime.
Local 1000 is sponsoring several bills this year that avoid contracting out public services, eliminate mandatory overtime for nurses, better deploy our prison libraries and librarians, and end the state’s practice of letting employee-misconduct investigations drag on for years.
“Our legislative focus is to build on our members’ strengths, so we have the power to better working conditions and to ensure social and economic justice for all Californians,” said Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker. “These bills will directly improve the lives of workers we represent.”
Hannah Konnoff grew up with a mother who was active in the civil rights movement, a feminist and an anti-war protester. Although she had been raised to act on her values, life compelled Konnoff to put her activism on the back burner.
“I just kind of got wrapped up in trying to survive,” she said.
The crucial safety role of California Department of Education’s (CDE)’s Bus Driver Training Specialists will finally be recognized with new classification specifications and job titles, thanks to a hard-fought, years-long campaign by Bargaining Unit 21. The job specification revisions and the change of title to “Transportation Program Consultants” were finalized at a State Personnel Board hearing on March 5, 2015.
Building power in the community, facing challenges and developing union leaders were key themes of last week’s meeting of the Statewide Bargaining Advisory Council (SBAC) in Southern California.
Nearly 200 elected bargaining representatives from up and down California—including the 60-plus members who negotiate our contract with the state—meet three times each year to develop strategies for bargaining and to understand and respond to issues that affect our lives at work and at home.
When Shannon Pree was the victim of a horrific violent crime last November, her manager at the California Science Center in Los Angeles knew who to call for help: Local 1000.
Pree’s brothers and sisters at Local 1000 heeded the call, donating cash and hundreds of hours of catastrophic leave as this single mother of three daughters recovers from multiple surgeries.
On March 2, Bargaining Unit 4 leaders surprised Pree at work, presenting her with the donations and reminding her that everyone at Local 1000 has her in their hearts as she undertakes her long recovery.
Thanks to an agreement negotiated by Local 1000, nearly all represented workers at the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) will receive a 2.4 percent performance award this year. Announced on February 20, the annual award will go to everyone who is qualified to receive it.
A Local 1000 member leader testifies about the retirement problems her family is facing even though they have a secure retirement through CalPERS.
Theresa Taylor, a longtime Local 1000 activist who was elected to the CalPERS board last year, told the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board of her family’s struggles because her husband became disabled.
Toll collectors at some bridges in the Bay Area have won back pay and leave credits after they organized to fight a dispute over holiday pay with Caltrans.
Members united to pressure Caltrans to correct payroll errors and to clarify departmental policy after the agency failed to credit employees properly for working on premium holidays. Two separate grievances were filed and were subsequently settled by Caltrans.
For the third year in a row, Local 1000 provided free tax preparation and filing assistance in Sacramento Feb. 7 for more than 50 union members and community residents.
The participants, who make $50,000 a year or less, had their income taxes prepared for free by a trained community volunteer under the federal government’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
All of the volunteer tax preparers were Local 1000 members and staff who received special training.
Bargaining Unit 15 custodians in state buildings around the Capitol have organized to achieve a string of recent improvements in working conditions through their Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC).
“We started the committee last year, and we’ve made real progress in the last several months,” said Local 1000 committee member Shavone Brown, a custodian in the state treasurer’s office. “We find that the JLMC is an effective way to work with management because it’s less adversarial.”
Local 1000’s comprehensive training program for new stewards is entering its second year as graduates are already reporting success at their worksites.
The Leadership Apprentice Program for Stewards (LAPS), which began last year, was developed to provide new stewards the tools they need to be more effective leaders in their workplaces and in their communities.
The state of California is moving forward with efforts to design a retirement-savings program for workers who do not have a pension or a savings plan through their employer.
The California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board voted on Jan. 26 to hire a law firm to help design the plan and to seek federal approval. Under SB 1234, the Local 1000-sponsored legislation that created Secure Choice, the board will present its final recommendations to the governor and Legislature for approval.
Working together to build a stronger, more responsive union, more than 300 member leaders, staff and community allies came together in San Diego Jan. 16th and 17th at Local 1000’s annual Real Time Strategic Change conference.
Responding to a changing political and economic landscape, the two-day meeting focused on developing member activists and leaders.
For Regina Schumaker, the day-to-day grind of work, family responsibilities and stress were wearing her down. Like many of us, taking time to eat right and to exercise took a back seat to simply getting everything done on her daily to-do list. Unlike most of us, Regina also had to deal with the added emotional pain of being recently widowed and facing a future without her life partner.
Salary increase for state employees part of funding proposal
Local 1000 members will be pleased to know that Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal for 2015-16 includes funding for the 2.5 percent salary increase secured by our 2013 contract.
“It feels good to step up and serve where I can, and I’m proud of our union’s commitment to the community embodied in our Purpose Statement”.
–Brenda Ferguson, DMV, Sacramento
“Our legal victory follows an organizing victory here. For the first time this group of mostly deaf employees mobilized. We fought back.”
–Zena Anderson, Night Attendant, California School for the Deaf, Fremont
Grassroots activism was at the heart of our wins and advances
Local 1000 members up and down the state took action on many different fronts in 2014 to build successful campaigns that protected our hard-earned contract rights, improved working conditions and elected lawmakers who respect and support working families.
Using the power of grassroots organizing, members came together to build strength at their workplaces and in their communities to solve issues that affect their lives, and the lives of their families, friends and colleagues.
In 2014, we made a difference. We fulfilled our promises. We stayed true to our Purpose Statement. In December of 2013, several hundred of us met in San Diego and we pledged to use our collective power to defend the rights of state workers on the job and to fight for fair wages and retirement security for all. Over the last year, we have vigorously enforced our contract rights at every level, and we received our two percent wage increase in July.
Protecting our members’ rights in the workplace is at the core of Local 1000’s mission. How we represent our members can vary a great deal from answering simple questions about workplace rules in the contract to defending the interests of members in complex litigation at arbitration or in civil court.
Your Member Resource Center (MRC) is here to respond to a range of inquiries. The MRC provides a toll-free service weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Whether you’re looking for information about worksite meetings, how to interpret contract language or who your Local 1000 steward is, your answers are just a phone call away.
Since it opened five years ago, Local 1000’s Member Resource Center (MRC) has fielded more than 426,000 calls from members, including over 67,000 so far in 2014.
Queries at the call center a block from the Capitol in Sacramento are usually simple requests such as the location and time of a union meeting or question about pay dates or holidays–most calls are resolved in less than three minutes. However, the calls can also involve distraught members who have just come from an upsetting confrontation with a supervisor.
Working families were the real winners in last week’s election. The grassroots organizing effort of hundreds of Local 1000 volunteers overcame record-low voter turnout–and the millions of dollars spent by wealthy interests–to elect a long slate of lawmakers who share our values and will fight for the middle class.
More than 80 percent of SEIU-endorsed candidates won or retained their offices, with wins in all eight statewide races, including the re-election of Gov. Jerry Brown, John Chiang as our new state Treasurer and Alex Padilla as our Secretary of State.
Local 1000 activists at Pelican Bay prevail in unfair labor practices claim
After enduring months of intimidation and ridicule by management in an effort to quash their protected union activity, in October two Local 1000 stewards prevailed on their complaint of an unfair labor practice against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
During the month of October, Local 1000 members and staff had conversations with tens of thousands of voters about issues important to working families. In the five weeks leading to Election Day, during more than 3,500 volunteer shifts, we made calls and knocked on doors for candidates up and down the state.
California Corrections Health Care Services (CCHCS) workers at the Health Records Center in South Sacramento have won new schedule flexibility in their work week. Now these employees are able to choose four, 10-hour days (4/10s) as a work week rather than the standard eight hours, five days a week.
Local 1000 members and staff are making a final important push between now and Election Day Nov. 4 to ensure that we reach as many voters as possible to encourage them to cast ballots in critical races throughout California.
Members are finishing up five weeks of phone banking tonight and tomorrow evening. This weekend begins four straight days of walking precincts to talk with targeted voters about what’s at stake in this election and why their vote matters.
Local 1000 members all over California are volunteering to make phone calls and to walk precincts on behalf of candidates committed to strengthening the middle class and to expanding opportunities for all.
Most members volunteer after work or on Saturdays to have one-on-one conversations with voters. Some, like Brenda Ferguson, are taking weeks or months away from their state jobs to work full time as member political organizers. Ferguson helps train new volunteers and supports them in phone banking or precinct walking activities.
Local 1000 member leaders recently concluded a series of statewide worksite visits with Patrick Henning, the recently appointed director of the Employment Development Department (EDD). Local 1000 worked with Henning so he would hear first hand what frontline workers have to say about unsustainable workloads, use of permanent intermittent workers and how high stress levels have affected them on the job.
When I look around today and see what’s going on in our country, I see how easy it is to become discouraged by all the negative forces that are working against us and working families everywhere. Attempts to derail the Affordable Care Act, attacks against our pensions and stiff opposition to lifting the minimum wage for low-wage workers can make it seem like we’re pushing uphill with no end in sight.
Coalition working to create new job opportunities in the Central Valley
As part of our ongoing effort to help grow the middle class in our communities, Local 1000 helped create a coalition of Fresno-area organizations to ensure that jobs created by the state’s high-speed rail project don’t bypass the Central Valley’s poorest residents.
More than two hundred custodians working in the Department of General Services (DGS) will each receive $300 in a settlement that represents a victory for Unit 15 workers who are required to wear a uniform at work. The settlement covers “laundering and associated expenses” after several DGS custodians in southern California filed grievances complaining that the uniforms that they were handing over to the department for washing were coming back dingy and soiled. The cost of rewashing their uniforms –at home–began to add up.