SEIU 1021

Marin Housing Authority Refuses to Bargain Union Contract in Good Faith, Making the Choice to Leave Residents Living in Dangerous, Demoralizing Conditions

Marin Housing Authority employees on a two-day unfair labor practice strike


Contact: Ian Lee,, (510) 384-7165 

SAN RAFAEL — Wednesday, March 13, Marin Housing Authority (MHA) employees represented by SEIU Local 1021 met with MHA management to negotiate their union contract. Despite a two-day unfair labor practice strike from its employees, widespread condemnation from Marin County taxpayers, and dire pleas from its residents, MHA has continued to refuse to bargain in good faith — their last, best, and final offer remains the same from February 28. By refusing to become an employer capable of attracting adequate levels of union staff, MHA is making the choice to leave its residents in dangerous, demoralizing living conditions. 

“By stonewalling negotiations and relying on temporary contractors, Marin Housing Authority is exacerbating the already dire living conditions of its residents,” said Melanie Raquel, a case manager for Marin Housing Authority. “Their disdain for the basic principles of fairness and human decency reveals a disturbing lack of commitment to the safety of its residents and to its own purported mission.” 

“At a time when unity and support are most needed, it’s unconscionable that Marin Housing Authority would rather leave its residents in squalor than engage in meaningful dialogue with its employees,” said Ceena Ford, a program specialist with Marin Housing Authority. “Their actions are nothing short of a betrayal to its employees, its residents, and the community at large.” 

For years, MHA has been replacing union jobs with contractors such as Nan MacKay — an abusive contractor that has been terrorizing residents with faked inspections and false termination notices. 

While MHA has recently conceded to phasing out its contract with Nan MacKay, residents continue to live in dangerous, demoralizing living conditions. 

“In the high-rises, we’re living without adequate heating. In addition, we’re dealing with problematic plumbing, mold, and rat infestation,” said Royce McLemore, who heads the Golden Gate Village resident council. “That’s why I stand with MHA employees who are fighting for adequate staffing.”

“The lack of ventilation has meant that we have to open windows. But the windows don’t have screens, so we’re constantly dealing with bugs. Also, sometimes our water turns brown,” said MHA resident Tasharah Benjamin. “That’s why MHA must staff up.” 

The solution is clear: MHA must become capable of attracting adequate levels of union staff. 


SEIU Local 1021 represents nearly 60,000 employees in local governments, non-profit agencies, health care programs, and schools throughout Northern California, including seven private colleges and numerous community colleges. SEIU Local 1021 is a diverse, member-driven organization with members who work to make our cities, schools, colleges, counties, and special districts safe and healthy places to live and raise our families.