Sonoma County Library



Oakland Airport Hilton, September 26-27


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The convention will be a transformative event, where members will gain greater clarity, energy, motivation and direction to step more fully into their power, with grace, vision, courage and knowledge. This is an opportunity for chapter building, engaging and developing potential leaders, hence making it a priority for staff and elected officers.

Q: What are the qualifications to be a delegate?

A: To be eligible, a member would have to had paid dues for any 4 months in 2014 as well as either January or February, 2015.

Q: Can fee payers participate in the nomination and/or delegate election process?

A: Yes, once they sign a membership form, then they can nominate and vote.


 Q: How many delegates can each Chapter elect?

A: Every Chapter gets 2 delegates automatically. After 300 members, each chapter will have 2 additional delegates. For every additional 150 members, a chapter will have 2 additional delegates.


Q: What is the period of time for completing elections?

A: April 20-July 20, 2015


Q: What is an “uncontested ballot”? (Previously referred to as “white ballot”)

A: When there are more or an equal number of delegate slots as candidates, that is referred to as a uncontested ballot and the chapter does not need to hold a full election.


Q: How are alternate delegates selected?

A: In case a delegate can’t participate due to scheduling, illness, etc. Chapters should select alternates even if the delegate election for that Chapter is uncontested or the Chapter does not elect the full number of delegates which it is entitled to.

Here are the rules for selecting alternates: All Chapters are encouraged to select at least two (2) alternates. Alternates need to be ranked by votes received (e.g. the highest vote total becomes Alternate #1, second highest voted becomes Alternate #2, etc.)

In Chapters with “uncontested ballots” (where there are more or an equal number of delegate slots as there are candidates, thus making an election unnecessary), Chapters are still encouraged to select up to two (2) alternates and designate these as Alternate #1 & #2.

Convention Delegates, who become ineligible or unable to attend, shall notify the 1021 Convention Election Committee in writing no later than 8/20/15. An Alternate or Alternates will then be credentialed and seated. Delegates who notify the 1021 Convention Election Committee after 8/20/15 will not be replaced by an alternate.

Q: Which chapters may select honorary delegates? How will honorary delegates be selected?

A:Workers who have recently organized with Local 1021, but who have not ratified their first collective bargaining agreement may select honorary delegates.  The process for selecting honorary delegates will be as follows:  two (2) honorary delegates will be elected at upcoming membership meetings.


If you are a Delegate:

Q: How will delegates register for the convention?

A:  Once the delegate certification form is turned in, the delegate will be sent a welcome letter by e-mail and mail which gives them directions on how to register.  (That is why it is critical that their contact information is on certification form).


Q: Do we pay lost time for delegates attending the Convention?

A: Yes, follow the local’s lost time policy. Anyone working from 12:01am on Saturday through 11:59pm on Sunday will receive lost time.

For example: If a delegate works anytime on Saturday or Sunday they may request lost time. So for instance if a member has a shift that starts 11pm on Friday September 25th but goes to 7am Saturday the 26th they may request the time off for their Friday shift and they would receive lost time per the guidelines specified in the policy.


Q: What are the rules around Friday night hotel stays for delegates?

A: Delegateswho travel 75 miles or more (one way) are qualified for Friday night lodging. All Delegates are entitled to Saturday night lodging (there is no required miles to qualify).


Q: What are the rules around the hotel stay on Saturday evening?

A: All delegates are encouraged to stay at the hotel regardless of how close they live to the venue. The local will pay the cost for double occupancy. Depending on room availability, they may request a single room but would need to pay the additional costs.


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Sonoma County Library MOU 7-1-13 to 6-30-16


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Sonoma library workers get new TA at last

Library workers in Sonoma achieved a TA last week after a contentious contract fight that lasted over a year and a half. The new agreement is a three-year deal that includes a larger ratification bonus of $1720 (pro-rated for part time employees), full restoration in 2014 of the previous COLA rollback plus a 1.5 percent COLA in 2015, as well as multiple language changes the union wanted.

The bargaining team is recommending a “YES” vote this time. Library workers will cast ballots from Oct. 25 to Nov. 1 at all branches. The vote count will be held at the SEIU 1021 Santa Rosa office Friday, Nov. 1 at 6:30 pm. All represented employees are invited.

The SEIU 1021 workers at the Sonoma County library system had been bargaining a contract since April 2012. They were trying to get back the concessions they made in their 2009-2011 contracts when management was crying poverty despite having reserves totaling $10 million, more than half its annual operating budget. Those givebacks included suspension of their COLA, increases in health care co-pays, a freeze in step increases, furlough days, layoffs and a reduction in hours of library services.

“Our members were resolved to turn back the cuts we suffered,” said Tom Popenuck, the chapter president and Vice President of the Region, as well as the lead negotiator on the bargaining team. “”In today’s economy libraries are one of the few public locations that serve all of society. The health of our libraries reflect the overall standard of living and our belief in what is vital for our communities. This contract is a huge victory for our members and our patrons.”

“With negotiations finally concluded, our chapter is looking to move in a positive direction,” Popenuck said.

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Local 1021 library workers reject management proposal

Following years of contract cutbacks, SEIU Local 1021 members at the Sonoma Library have voted down a contract proposal with meager offerings.

In the March 21 election 88 percent of members voted against the contract. The rejection came as the Library Commission has built up budget reserves based on member sacrifices while spending freely on overpriced furniture and projects, as well as inefficient technology.

“We felt we were doing the right thing helping the commission balance the budget,” said Tom Popenuck, the chapter president and regional vice-president, as well as the lead negotiator on the bargaining team. “But coming back to the table with more takeaways just wasn’t fair.”

Over the last five years, the commission asked workers to give up their Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA), reduce their match on deferred compensation, take furloughs, and pay more for health care to help with budgetary constraints.

Later they learned the commission had a $10 million reserve, equaling 50 percent of its operating budget.

Local 1021’s contract expired in July 2012. While negotiations have been going on since the contract expiration, management’s latest offer did not reinstate the COLA, and eliminated retiree health care for new hires. These were big sticking points for the members, and the one-time bonus offered—$1,000 per member, pro-rated for part-time workers—did not make up for it. The bargaining team took the proposal to the members for a vote without a recommendation.

Tensions have increased since the vote. Management spent more money on a union-busting attorney than they were willing to give in bonuses, then spent even more fighting to keep five employees from being able to join the union.

“They are going to any length to stop us,” Popenuck said. “Now they are saying they want to split us into two bargaining units.”

Local 1021 members and management met once since the vote. Management has offered nothing new and instead declared impasse.

Members plan to go over the management bargaining team’s head and press their case directly at the commission meeting April 8.

“We’re going to ask them to reconsider giving us the COLA and look at our retiree health care proposal,” Popenuck said.

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