SEIU 1021

SFDPH nurses, SFMTA Service Critical workers ratify contracts with big improvements
By 86% and 95% margins respectively, the last two SEIU 1021 San Francisco City & County bargaining units have locked in gains despite challenging budget


The threat of a widespread San Francisco city worker strike is officially over: Large supermajorities of members of SEIU 1021, the union representing over 16,000 city workers, have voted to ratify agreements reached with the City and County across three collective bargaining units. 

Registered nurses at the SF Department of Public Health, who counted votes on Wednesday, June 12, ratified their tentative agreement by 86%. SFMTA Service Critical members, including parking control officers and Muni station agents and car cleaners, counted votes on Friday, June 14. They ratified their contract by an overwhelming 95%.

These agreements contain provisions addressing some of the biggest concerns for these groups, such as staffing and overreliance on travel nurses for the RNs and safety for Muni station agents, won after workers staged large rallies to call attention to these issues.

Nurses won a 4.5% “market equity adjustment” for nurses due to recruitment and retention issues specific to nursing on top of the 13% other city workers won, totaling 17.5%. RNs had voted by 99.5% to authorize a strike just days before reaching the agreement.

Parking control officers won weekend shift differentials of 4% for Saturdays and 6% for Sundays in addition to a new, higher step on the wage scale that adds 4.5% to address equity language from the last contract.

The first and largest group to come to a tentative agreement with the City was the Citywide (or “miscellaneous”) unit, a far-reaching bargaining unit covering most city workers in numerous departments, from public works to human services to public libraries. They reached the tentative agreement with the City on April 12 after securing substantial improvements to contract language to reduce and prevent contracting out of public services; a $25/hour minimum wage for all city workers; a 13% cost-of-living adjustment over the three-year life of the contract to mitigate the impact of inflation; and many other provisions important to improving retention, recruitment, and working conditions.

Most of these improvements were won after a hugely successful strike school in March attended by over 1600 city workers from several unions in the Public Employee Committee labor coalition, followed by a massive rally at the Main Library on April 9. They voted on ratification between May 6 and May 29, with the vote count taking place on May 30. Ninety-one percent of voting members voted yes on ratification.

“The City and County of San Francisco has a dedicated workforce committed to providing high-quality public service to make our city run and address the city’s biggest problems,” said SEIU 1021 San Francisco Regional Vice President Kristin Hardy. “Short staffing and contracting out public services to unaccountable corporations and organizations with no stake in our community have too long been undermining the critical public services San Francisco needs to fulfill its potential.

“We are proud that by maintaining solidarity across classifications, bargaining units, and with our labor partners, we were able to find paths forward to resolve city workers’ biggest challenges.”