SEIU 1021

SEIU 1021 members in Alameda County win hero pay for county workers


After months of negotiations and member actions including rallies, purpling up on Tuesdays, sharing their stories with members of the board of supervisors, and more, SEIU 1021 members have signed an agreement with Alameda County to receive a one-time payment of $1,500 for county workers. 

Thema Page is the president of the Behavioral Healthcare Services chapter. She’s a clinical review specialist who has been with the County since 2007. She said, “Everybody in the county is benefiting from our three chapters working together, not just SEIU 1021 members. Everyone who works for the county will receive hero pay. Everyone worked hard for this win! I think our members will be glad to receive something, because people are feeling the pinch financially right now, especially with transportation costs and returning to the office for work. I am looking for even more during bargaining.”

Tina Tapia is the president of the general chapter. She’s an admin assistant in public health/WIC with 17 years of experience there, and 26 years of experience between Alameda and Sonoma Counties. She said, “I think this is great. I’m very happy we were able to work with the County to get this for our members. It would never have happened if we hadn’t brought it up and kept working for it. Our members should take it as a positive: we may not always get everything we ask for, but when we work together for the good of all, we can make real progress.  I hope our members take this win as a sign that what we say we’ll do, we’ll do.” 

Cara Williams is the president of the SSA chapter. She’s an eligibility support clerk with 12 years of experience in that position. She said, “I think we deserve more for our sacrifices, but I’m happy with what we got, happy that it’s finally here. It’s long overdue.”

The County moved on this issue, the member leaders said, because the membership at large demanded it and backed up their demands with action. Thema Page said, “It meant a lot that members showed up on the 26th to show the County how much it meant to them. Members have to be involved in what they want to see happen. The membership is essential to getting the message across regarding what is important to them.”

Cara Williams agreed, saying, “It took persistence and getting members involved to get this win. Our folks came together, got involved, purpled up on Tuesdays, put together a postcard campaign, and came out to our rally to show their support.”

Tina Tapia added, “We purpled up every Tuesday, and it had a big impact. The movement throughout the County with all the members getting involved really had an impact.”

Cara Williams said, “Recognizing the employees of Alameda County with a monetary stipend from ARPA funds was not a priority of the Board. If it were, we would have received something from the first $160 plus million distributed. The members had to put action behind what they knew they deserved and wanted. In an ideal world, we would not have had to work so long and hard on this, but we had to stay committed, and we did.”

One of the next fights for this group will be a contract fight. As Thema Page put it, “We have bargaining coming up, and there are some positions that are badly underpaid. We need our members to show up and make their positions clear: we can’t have neighboring counties pay much more for the same work! I hope the members make their voices known so we can fight together for the contract we all deserve.”

As Tina Tapia said, “We’re working together to support each other, and now we’re on to our next fight!”