Marin Water staff protest proposed concessions at board of directors meeting
Tuesday, September 5, Marin Municipal Water District staff marched on the MMWD Board of Directors meeting in response to district management’s continuing demands for concessions on retiree healthcare for future employees, without compensating for the takeaways with commensurate increases to already subpar salaries.
The hardworking MMWD staff – including chemists, watershed rangers, electricians, maintenance workers, and emergency response crews – keep 100% locally-sourced water safe and flowing to nearly 200,000 customers. They manage and protect MMWD’s 22,000 acre watershed and perform more than 155,000 quality tests a year to ensure Marin’s water ranks among the best in California. In addition, they protect one of the most biodiverse habitats in California, providing refuge for more than 1,400 species, some of which are endangered.
Despite the value of Marin water staff’s highly specialized, critical work, the district has proposed takeaways during contract negotiations – concessions that would make it harder to recruit and retain quality employees. Indeed, 80% of MMWD staff already commute from outside MMWD’s service area, unable to afford to live where they work.
“MMWD is a 24/7 operation. Our experienced workers promptly and efficiently address customer emergencies in order to minimize any water services issues and to ensure that our customers receive clean drinking water and a high quality of customer service,” said SEIU 1021 Chapter President Mariette Shin, an information systems analyst for the water district.
“However, with the district asking for takeaways, MMWD staff are concerned that recruiting and retaining quality new workers will become difficult, ultimately reducing the quality of services that MMWD is able to provide.”