SEIU 1021

Napa County & City of Napa members rally for a fair contract


More than 100 SEIU 1021 members from Napa County and City of Napa gathered at the Napa County administration building on Tuesday, May 7, to rally for improved working conditions and fair treatment for workers.

As negotiations continue for new contracts for both bargaining units, the workers highlighted the pressing need for increased cost-of-living adjustments to combat rising prices, reduce turnover, and fill vacancies.

Napa Supervisor Belia Ramos, the Solano Building Trades, and Sheetmetal Workers Union Local 104 came out to show support for Napa County and City workers.

The purple-clad crowd listened to a series of speakers, including Glenn Loveall, Napa/Solano Central Labor Council’s executive director, and local chapter president and deputy public defender Abe Gardner, who emphasized the challenges posed by soaring housing prices and stagnant wage growth.

Despite a 4.1% increase in county revenue, wages for county employees only rose by 3.25% in the past year amid high inflation and housing costs, leaving many struggling to afford to live in the area. 

“It gets you maybe halfway there, if you can even find a spot to rent, because there aren’t a lot,” Gardner said. “That’s why more than half our members are commuting from outside of Napa to come work for the county.

“When we say we want to live where we work, that matters. It matters when your neighbors are the ones that you’re helping.”

Gardner said the union employees weren’t asking to get ahead, they just wanted to “keep their heads above water.” 

The union’s proposal aims to address the widening gap between wages and living expenses, ensuring workers can afford to live where they work and continue serving the community effectively.

Read more from the Press Democrat here.