Yesterday, your team returned to the table to meet with the employer after having robust discussions with many of you during work site meetings over the last few weeks. Joining us at the table was Roxanne Sanchez, the president of Local 1021, and John Stead-Mendez, 1021 Executive Director. What is clear to us it that the County is not investing in the services we provide or is interested dealing with staff shortages and its recruitment and retention problem. For the first time, the County admitted that there is a recruitment and retention problem due to employees being underpaid. Although this is a good first step, action not words is needed.
Your Team, proposed a one year deal which would expire in August, 31 2017, because what the County is offering is just not enough to justify a multiyear deal nor is the County interested in our wage offer. Below are some highlights of our proposals to the County:
1. A 3 percent COLA for all bargaining unit members effective the first full pay period in July.
2. Minimum wage to be increased to $11 upon ratification then to $12 in July of this year.
3. Proposal to maintain current number of salary step spacing for any classification series impacted by the minimum wage increases.
4. Increases to standby pay
5. Maintain our proposal on sick leave
6. Additional protections when being disciplined
Progress at the table relies on all if us working together and turning up the heat on the employer. Therefore, we are holding a “Have a Heart” Unity Action, Tuesday, February 14th, 10 AM to Noon at the Board of Supervisor Chambers and then in front of the Flynn Center. We need to remind the supervisors that by ignoring employee’s salary disparity and the retention and recruitment issue, they undermine the services we provide and the community we serve. Raising wages will retain the workforce they have and recruit the workers they need thereby improving the quality of and increasing county services and expanding our client base so that no one in the community is left behind to fall through the cracks. Spread the word to your co-workers. The more workers who attend will send a powerful message to the County that we support each other and the community we are proud to serve.
We only win if we act together. It easy to become a member and to take advantage of the VSP benefit only union members receive. If you not a member, please fill out the following forms and return to Norma Williams.
Fax completed forms to (707) 464-6510 or Mail to 286 M Street, Crescent City, CA 95531
We want to thank those who attended last Thursday’s Strike School. It was an interesting evening where we learned about our rights since our contract expired, the strike process, the County’s deliberate stonewalling at the table, and discussed actions we can take to move the Sounty Supervisors and County team to bargain in good faith, treat us with dignity and respect and work with us on reaching an agreement that addresses our low wages, benefits and issues with recruitment and retention.
We also want to thank the fourteen union workers who showed up at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, standing silent in the back of the chamber, holding signs and showing solidarity and support for their bargaining team, each other and the union. It sent a visibly powerful message to the supervisors and the public that county workers are united in demanding fair living wages and who are no longer afraid to show it!
The 2016-2017 County recommended budget was presented at Tuesday’s County Supervisors meeting. Chapter President, Norma Williams, pointed out that it is a concessionary budget balanced on the back of low paid county workers. It does not address negotiations and the salary study, which the County’s team discounts. Ms. Williams ticked off a list of unit classifications and the percentage by which they fall below the labor market median minimum against the comparable counties. She asked the supervisors, how long will it take for it (salary study) to be addressed? One year, two, five? How much farther behind will we get? How much less competitive? Does the County really want to be known as the employer who offers starting wages lower than McDonald’s?
Now the question, what are YOU going to do about it? First, attend Tuesday, September 20th, General Membership meeting at 5:30 PM to discuss future actions we can take. Second participate in upcoming union actions scheduled for September 26th, when bargaining takes place, and September 27th, the next county supervisors’ meeting.
Purple Up! Raise your purple flags at work! Stand up and demand fairness at the table, fairness in the contract and dignity and respect at work! Join a growing number of county workers who are standing up and fighting for their families and the community we all proudly serve!
Together we can raise all boats!
On Tuesday morning, members held an informational picket and addressed the Board of Supervisors at public expression. The message was simple: “Workers in Del Norte County are paid anywhere on average 20-25% below market when compared to the 10, pre-approved comparable counties.”
In the afternoon, your Bargaining Team returned to the table where the Employer pleaded “broke” and demanded that the Union find $1.15 million to close their shortfall. Since the 2009’s economic downturn, the County has used our paychecks as their own personal ATMs. This year the County is saving $300,000 in healthcare costs, but instead of reinvesting those savings in their employees or the services we provide, the County is taking those savings to pad the General Fund.
The County has not and will not have an economic proposal before our contract expires on Wednesday, August 31st. This is unacceptable and bad faith bargaining.
To date, the County is asking for concessions on economics with the proposal for classic employees to pick up another 1.75% for retirement starting in January 2018 with no offset. The Employer claims this is a “status quo” contract, however, their proposals somehow include new economic concessions. Members are working for wages that are 25 percent under market. The County has not even attempted to keep up with the annual increased costs of living. The CAO now wants to discount the salary study and ignore how “comparable” those counties really are, although they agreed to them in our MOU. Many of our classifications start at, or just above, the current California minimum wage. By the year 2022, the State Minimum Wage will be $15 per hour, tied to inflation.
The Next Steps:
The CAO and the County’s Team have shown a complete lack of respect for County employees since the start of these negotiations.
Now it is up to each of you to help decide what we do next. To start this conversation, we will be holding Strike School training on Thursday, September 8th at 5:30pm. We need YOU to attend this meeting so we can discuss our rights as Union employees and the next steps. Please stay tuned for additional information and a location in the coming few days. Only together can we win a fair contract.
We CAN WIN if we STEP UP and DEMAND RESPECT!
1. The County backed off its proposal to increase the probationary period to twelve months for new hires and promotions. The Union remained steadfast and so the current contract remains unchanged.
2. The County agreed to the Union’s new proposal to give employees within a unit, branch or department a 14-day notice prior to any relocation to a new location.
3. There was movement on Article VI, Evaluation, and we look to a possible tentative agreement at our next session.
4. There was movement on Article VII, Transfers, Promotions, Reassignment and Voluntary Demotions, and we look to a possible tentative agreement at our next session.
5. We had extensive discussion on our proposals for Grievance Arbitration and Union Security (Agency Shop).
This kind of progress was only made possible by your support and backing through the various union actions taken so far: the petitions, supporting agency shop, showing up at the Board of Supervisors meetings, participating in unity breaks and Purpling Up!
Our next sessions with the County are Monday, August 22 and Tuesday, August 23. Between now and then, we have the following union meetings and actions planned:
We look forward to seeing you soon! We are stronger together!
Your Bargaining Team,
Norma Williams, Cheryl Williams, Traci Rongey, Aaron Burton
County is in the Stone Age
Hello SEIU 1021 Members,
Your bargaining team resubmitted many proposals that were rejected by the County during the last bargaining session. We provided evidence that our proposals were consistent with a majority of the 10 comparable counties. The County’s response has been to do as little as required by law and to keep employee rights at substandard levels similar to that of the Stone Age. The County still has not put any new economic proposals on the table.
We presented signatures from well over 30 percent of our members demanding that the County bargain in good faith with an agreement which includes Agency Shop. The County’s response was to discount and disregard the voice of the membership. We are still collecting signatures. Please see your bargaining team or CAT member to sign the petition.
Highlights of some Unions Proposals:
1. Grievance Procedure with added binding arbitration to ensure true fairness when a violation of our contract has occurred.
2. A new holiday to recognize Indigenous People similar to what the State of California and Federal Government observe.
3. Improvements to the layoff notices.
4. A new Dignity Clause to ensure employees are treated with respect regardless of classification, pay or any other protected class.
To date, the County has rejected the vast majority of the Union proposals and have dragged their feet every step of the way. So here is what you can do to help:
1. We need speakers and audience members to attend the next Board of Supervisors meeting during Public Expression which is Tuesday, July 26th at 10:25am. The Board needs to hear from more than just the Bargaining Team. Please contact Cheryl Williams if you have questions or would like to help!
2. Unity Breaks: Attend the upcoming Unity Breaks at 880 Northcrest Drive at 3:00pm on the following days Thursday, July 28th and Wednesday, August 3rd to hear updates from Traci Rongey and enjoy some coffee.
3. Become a member by completing the attached application. Thank you to all the members who signed up so far, it’s showing the county we are united more than ever.
We are only as strong as we are united, to win a fair contract that values the work we do! Thank you for your continued support and together we will win. Let’s work to bring Del Norte County into the 21st Century.
Your Bargaining Team,
Norma Williams, Cheryl Williams, Traci Rongey, and Aaron Burton
Del Norte County Chapter Contract Campaign
Bargaining Update #2 – July 14, 2016
The County Rejects Your Voice!
Hello DNCEA Members,
This morning your Bargaining Team sat down to a table full of rejections from the County. Once again the County promised that the full salary survey will be “ready sometime in the near future”….this is what they have said to us since January of this year. No salary proposal, other than the concessions with our retirement, has been put on the table by the County.
The County rejected most of our proposals such as:
What is clear more than ever is that ALL HANDS ON DECK will be required to win a fair contract.
This will require that we batten down the hatches for rough seas ahead. In other words, we must intensify actions at our worksites and at upcoming Board of Supervisors meetings. We need you there! Watch for updates on actions coming soon!!
If you would like to join the Contract Action Team (CAT) to help with planning actions, please contact Traci Rongey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear DNCEA/SEIU 1021 Members,
On Wednesday, we completed our first session at the bargaining table with the County’s team where we established ground rules for negotiating the contract. Your Bargaining Team submitted proposals based on input you provided in your recent survey responses. We reviewed both Union and County proposals and both sides are actively working on counter-proposals. We are scheduled to return to the table on Wednesday July 13th at 1:00 p.m.
There is much for all of us to do between now and then, below is how you can help.
BECOME A MEMBER (by completing the attached Membership Application and returning it to any Bargaining Team or CAT member). This is the most critical step each of us must take to be strong at the table.
REGULARLY VISIT OUR CHAPTER WEBSITE for current contract proposal information and bargaining updates by visiting: http://www.seiu1021.org/category/where-we-work/counties/del-norte-county/ Note: current updates will be posted online by Friday, 7/8.
SIGN THE UNITY PETITION. Your Bargaining Team members, Stewards and Chapter Executive Board Leaders have the petition available for you to sign.
ATTEND THE NEXT BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING Tuesday, July 12th AT 10:20 a.m. Three of our members will speak and your Bargaining Team will present a handout featuring Del Norte County workers and their personal stories.
ATTEND THE NEXT UNITY BREAK on Thursday, July 14th at 3:00 p.m. at 880 Northcrest Drive (in front of the old Coast True Value Hardware building). Join your bargaining team for cookies and coffee.
It is clear that our solidarity at our worksites will make all the difference at the table. We are stronger together, and that is how we will win.
Your Bargaining Team,
Norma Williams, Cheryl Williams, Traci Rogney, and Aaron Burton