SEIU 1021

ARC of SF members organize, win big victory in fight against bad management and payroll problems


SEIU 1021 members at the ARC of San Francisco have proven once again the strength of organizing in the workplace. And their story shows you don’t have to be in contract negotiations to organize and win when issues arise–including bad management.

At the ARC, the problems started after a new human resources director was hired almost a year ago. Not only did she treat members poorly and take a top-down approach, but egregious payroll errors began–and continued for months under her direction. The issues were big and affected members’ livelihoods: incorrect benefit accruals, late cash-outs, incorrect holiday pay, late recognition bonuses, and more.

The union filed a class action grievance on behalf of the entire membership and elevated it to the arbitration stage. Then they held a unanimous “vote of note confidence” for the HR director among the membership. They then escalated with an action on the ARC of SF Board of Directors, where they presented the issues as well as the results of the no confidence vote. Members also spoke up in staff meetings and raised their concerns directly with management.

Members leveraged their strong relationships with the family members and caretakers of participants at the ARC by asking them to reach out to management in support of staff. Stewards held strategic planning sessions with the union field representative every step of the way, making all of this possible. 

And they scored a big win! The HR director was terminated last Friday, March 8. The majority of the payroll issues have been resolved. The members now plan to focus their attention on rebuilding trust between management and staff. 

“After so many months of hard work, stress, weariness, and defeat, I’m so thankful to our team for committing to the boldness we carried out which led to this huge outcome for our membership,” said SEIU 1021 ARC of SF Chapter President Lisa Redmer. 

“It not only feels like an enormous step in this current fight, but more importantly, it has left us all energized with the reminder that we really can achieve big and important things when we pull together our different strengths. We really needed this win and reminder to keep fighting for what’s right and what’s good.”