March 2019 Board of Director Report

Our union’s Board of Directors (Board) met March 9th and 10th in Oakland. The Board is comprised of our union’s President, three statewide officers, nine bargaining unit chairs, and the presidents of our union’s 50 district labor councils (DLCs).

Our President, Yvonne Walker, opened the Board meeting with a powerful values-based vision for economic justice:

The LA Times recently reported: Incomes at the top rise so much more rapidly than at other levels that federal data can’t keep up. From 2000 to 2018, the top 5% of earners saw their pay rise 25%, while the wages of median workers rose only 7%. If the federal government can’t keep up, how is anyone else supposed to keep up?

“As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. explained: ‘The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this—that all reality hinges on moral foundations.’ We are in a bargaining year in a world with sharply rising inequality, long-standing structural racism and gender inequity—and our values will fuel the righteousness of our fight in the months ahead.”   

The Human Rights (HR) committees conducted business on Saturday, March 9th, and continued working to advance the plans set during our last Board meeting in December. While our various HR committees each have their own goals, all of their work is aimed at realizing our Purpose Statement: “to give our members—and all Californians—the opportunity to have a good life, live in sustainable communities and enjoy the fruits of social, economic and environmental justice.” The HR committees include the following committees: 

Accessibility (formerly known as State Workers with Disabilities)
Asian-Pacific Islander
Lavender (LGBTQI)
Veterans Committee; and
Women’s Empowerment Committee

On Sunday, March 10th, the Board reviewed of our union’s budget for 2019. (At the December meeting, the Board nearly unanimously—59 to 1—approved our one-year budget for 2019.)

The Board then discussed the progress of the integration of the State Bar bargaining units into our governance structure. Once fully integrated, the number of DLC presidents will increase from 50 to 51, the number of bargaining unit chairs from nine to ten, and the number of the members of the Board from 63 to 65. We have represented State Bar employees for over ten years through a service agreement with SEIU Local 1021. The bargaining structure for the State Bar units will continue to be separate and distinct from the other nine bargaining units we represent. The integration into Local 1000 is in process and will continue over the next couple of months.

The Board received a report back regarding our newly implemented New Member Program for new hires entering into jobs represented by our union. This is an exciting opportunity to connect with thousands of newly hired folks as they enter state service. Followed by a report back on the 5-5-5 Accountability Program. Under the program, board members must recruit five new members, five new COPE contributors and five new recommitments every month. In addition to the report, charts were prominently displayed showing the individual progress for every member of the Board.

Ogletree Deakins, one of our nation’s largest labor and employment law firms, provided anti-harassment training to the Board. This annual training focused on sexual harassment and bullying. It outlined what each individual board member’s obligation are to union staff and the members they lead as an elected leader under our union’s ethics policy as well as under relevant state and federal laws.

Our international union is in the process of developing ten-year strategic goals and Local 1000 is surveying our member-leaders to find out what they believe SEIU’s top goals should be over the next ten years. This ten-year planning process is an opportunity to develop long-term strategic goals for our union that will guide our work in an ever-changing world as we continue to fight for a just society. To this end, board members engaged in exercises and provided input regarding what priorities we should set in the decade ahead.

Lastly, the Board passed a motion to amend our Policy File. The motion passed by an overwhelming majority of our Board. It amended the Policy File section regarding election procedures by removing the no-longer-necessary requirement to physically mail a notice to each steward announcing the opening of the nomination period for internal elections, and replaces it with a requirement to post the information on our website make other reasonable efforts to communicate the opening of nominations through other electronic vehicles, like social media. This change will save our union approximately $75 thousand per election on an ongoing basis.