San Francisco Unified and Sacramento Unified School District SEIU 1021 members ratify historic contracts, keep momentum going
As we move into the holiday season, there is much to celebrate and rejoice over. Unions are winning their strongest contracts yet in school districts across Northern California. And, while several districts remain in bargaining, there is good reason to think that the positive trend of historic contracts will continue through to the new year!
On Thursday, November 16, SEIU 1021 San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) members voted to ratify a new three-year contract with a 96% “yes” vote. This contract is the strongest agreement SFUSD custodians, student nutrition service workers, and clerical workers have ever had with the District.
SFUSD classified workers will receive a 16% raise, which includes retro pay of 6% back to July 1, 2022, and an additional 10% retroactively to July 1, 2023, as well as improvements in health and safety protections for workers and a seat at the table as the District plans for the construction of affordable housing units for employees. The improvements will help mitigate the understaffing and burnout plaguing the district.
“This contract is the result of members working together,” said Christian Benitez, a custodial supervisor with SFUSD for over ten years and an SEIU 1021 union steward. “We stayed strong, even though it took long months of hard work and frustration, but people kept showing up and not backing down. Now we have one of the best contracts we’ve ever had because of it. Our members are so awesome, and we feel energized and proud.”
Further northeast in Sacramento, SEIU Local 1021 members working as facility and maintenance workers, campus monitors, nutrition service workers, custodians, paraprofessionals, and clerical staff for Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) also voted to approve a historic wage reopener this week. After eight months of bargaining, SEIU 1021 ratified an agreement with the largest pay increase they’ve ever had with the Sacramento Unified School District, with over a 98% ‘yes’ vote from members.
This wage reopener was part of the agreement that ended last year’s two-week strike. The package includes:
- A 10% retroactive raise for all, effective as of July 1, 2022.
- An additional 6% retroactive raise for instructional aides, nutrition and custodial employees, and other classifications in salary ranges 41 and below, who are the lowest-paid in the District, effective as of July 1, 2022.
- An additional 6% retroactive raise for Operations Support Service Unit “Flat Rate” Salary Schedule C, effective as of July 1, 2022.
- $18 district minimum wage for SEIU 1021 classifieds effective as of July 1, 2022.
- $20 district minimum wage for SEUI 1021 classifieds starting July 1, 2024.
- An ongoing classification and compensation study.
- Significant enhancements to health and safety:
“This is the biggest win for members in the history of SEIU 1021 members in Sacramento City Unified,” said Karla Faucett, chapter president and professional development specialist for SCUSD. “We have lifted up nearly 70% of our members with significant raises. But the work continues!”
These two resounding wins further emphasize the importance of a strong union with active and engaged members. When members show up and get involved, we have more power to win the contracts we deserve!
Congratulations to all involved, and here’s to finishing the year off strong and starting 2024 with even more wins for workers.