SEIU 1021 members fight for fairness and good library jobs in Berkeley
Recently, City of Berkeley library workers have stepped up and pushed back against an increasingly common unfair management tactic: manipulating workers’s hours to keep them from being eligible for benefits.
According to the contract, “the City will pay 75% of the cost of the medical plan which is fully paid for full time employees for those part time employees who work 20 to 29 hours per week. The City will pay 100% of the cost of the medical plan which is fully paid for full time employees for those part time employees who work 30 or more hours per week.” However, the City has recently capped a number of library workers at 29 hours per week, as a direct response to SEIU 1021 members’s demanding that the terms of the contract be honored.
City management first established the hours cap verbally, then confirmed it in writing. But since this odious practice violates Berkeley’s Fair Workweek Employment Standards, SEIU members are speaking up against the cap as part of a group called No Cap, which has already earned the support of Berkeley City Councilmember Sophie Hahn.
As Andrea Mullarkey, a 1021 member and teen librarian at a Berkely library, told the Daily Cal, “We want the cap to go away. And we want more pathways to jobs that are going to have life and family-sustaining compensation.”