SEIU 1021

Hundreds of SF City Workers plan to March Down Market St in Protest of Mayor’s Refusal to Safely Staff City Services
As tens of thousands of city workers bargain for a new contract, workers will flood the streets to call on the Mayor to #StaffUpSF and invest in the vital services our City depends on



Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Contact: Andrew Baker

Hundreds of City Workers plan to March Down Market St in Protest of Mayor’s Refusal to Safely Staff City Services

As tens of thousands of city workers bargain for a new contract, workers will flood the streets to call on the Mayor to #StaffUpSF and invest in the vital services our City depends on

(San Francisco, CA) — City workers are doubling down on their efforts to urge the Mayor to address San Francisco’s staffing crisis, as hundreds of workers plan to march down Market Street on March 23. Earlier in the day, members of the Board of Supervisors will be holding a hearing during the Budget and Finance meeting. The hearing will focus on the chronic short-staffing across the Department of Public Health, including at San Francisco General Hospital, that is impacting patient care and the ability of residents to access services. 

Click here to access our press kit containing the presentation being given to the Board of Supervisors during the DPH staffing hearing, as well as a fact sheet detailing some of the city departments hit hardest by the staffing crisis.

  • What: “Staff Up SF!” March Down Market Street for Public Services
  • When: Wednesday, March 23, 2022
    • Speaking program begins at 5:00 pm
    • March leaves City Hall around 5:20 pm
  • Where: Departing from SF City Hall, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, SF
  • Who: San Francisco Labor Council, San Francisco Building Trades, SEIU 1021, IFPTE Local 21, IBEW Local 6, Teamsters 856, IATSE Local 16, Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, Laborers’ International Union Local 261, Stationary Engineers Local 39
  • Visuals: Hundreds of union members in union t-shirts and apparel with banners and signs, people giving speeches, marching and chanting, and spokespeople available for interviews.
  • Language availability: Spokespeople available in English, Spanish, and Cantonese.


In addition to the march and hearing, workers are releasing preliminary research that shows just how severe the city’s staffing crisis is across key departments. City management has already admitted that there are over 3,800 vacancies citywide, a figure that represents roughly 10% of the total positions the city has budgeted for. 

Vacancies have an undeniable impact on the quality and speedy delivery of services from City departments. It’s no coincidence that some of the departments hardest hit by vacancies are also tasked with addressing some of our city’s most pressing challenges, including:

  • Department of Public Works: vacancy rate 29.1%
  • Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing: vacancy rate 27.7%
  • Department of the Environment: vacancy rate 24.2%
  • Department of Economics and Workforce Development: vacancy rate 20.8%
  • San Francisco International Airport: vacancy rate 18.5%
  • San Francisco Planning Department: vacancy rate 16%

“My team provides services to people living in supportive housing, all of whom have a history of homelessness. We help people access food and healthcare, do wellness checks when clients haven’t been heard from, and much more. When we’re this understaffed, it causes a significant reduction in the services we can provide. Short-staffing puts the people we serve at serious risk. Filling these vacancies and staffing our department will help us provide the services our clients need; without adequate staffing we can’t provide enough support,” said Leslie Kupper, an SEIU 1021 member and a Behavioral Health Clinician with the Department of Homelessness & Supportive Housing.

“Our members do vital work across San Francisco, including cleaning up trash and hazardous materials left behind from encampments, dealing with illegal dumping, and sweeping the streets. We’re working overtime and pulling people from other areas but don’t have enough people to keep up with demand. The Mayor has talked a lot about keeping the streets of San Francisco clean and we know residents want the same but to do that, the city needs to hire permanent DPW staff and utilize our hiring hall to fill temporary positions. There’s no other way,” said LaVonda Williams, a Laborers Local 261 member working as a Gardener and Young Tree Care Captain with the Department of Public Works.

“The results on the City’s Climate Action plan depend on the work of my colleagues and I, but we’re not fully staffed. Over the past couple of years my team has gone from 14 people to 7. We are working late hours and weekends just to keep up with our goals. We need to hire more people by becoming more competitive. I want to know at least I did my part working hard to get a better planet for my nephews, for the next generation. San Francisco can do better on our goals like energy efficiency and zero waste, but we need to staff up,” said Rina Lopez, an IFPTE Local 21 member and Environmental Specialist with the Department of Environment.


The Public Employee Committee of the San Francisco Labor Council brings together over 30,000 dedicated public service workers among 26 unions. Healthcare providers, firefighters, infrastructure & trades workers, engineers, planners, educators, social workers and others continue to answer the call to public service each and every day as disaster service workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.