SEIU 1021

City of San Rafael members ratify union contract, making major strides to address public staffing crisis

SEIU 1021 members  confronting San Rafael city council

On Thursday, June 27, SEIU 1021 members working for the City of San Rafael – including childcare providers, street maintenance workers, library staff, and administrative staff – voted by an overwhelming 97.1% to ratify a contract with the City. The new agreement makes major strides to address the staffing crisis that has been plaguing San Rafael’s children, families, and residents. 

“Waitlists for San Rafael’s childcare centers have been too long for far too many years,” explains Trish Cerutti-Saylors, a San Rafael childcare director. “Our new union contract brings childcare providers up to parity with surrounding public employers. It’s a major step forward to make San Rafael an employer capable of attractive safe levels of public staff.”  

Cerutti-Saylors stands as the sole full-time provider at her childcare center. To compensate for this staffing shortage, the City of San Rafael has hired 10 temporary part-time providers to assist her. Most of these part-time providers are high school students. 

Other improvements won by SEIU 1021 City of San Rafael members include:

  • Improvements to healthcare costs, from 11.3% for individuals to 35.7% for individuals;
  • Increases to paid parental leave, including 300 hours for full-time employees who have been with the city for more than 12 months;
  • Increases in bilingual pay, including for $250/month for those with written proficiency;
  • a 400% increase in life insurance; and
  • protections against last-minute shift-changes.

Union employees fought hard to secure this union contract during the six months of negotiations. In addition, union members repeatedly showed up to city council meetings to emphasize how the city’s public staffing crisis was not only affecting the city’s workforce but the community at large.