Mendocino County

SEIU 1021
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Mendocino County Workers Ratify One-Year Contract with Plans to Hold County Accountable for Improved Process & Information Flow for Future Agreements
The new contract, which was approved by over 90% of voting members, includes a 2% cost-of-living adjustment and a one-time $3000 ARPA stipend, as well as larger improvements for certain severely understaffed classifications

SEIU Local 1021 members working for Mendocino County voted by over 90% last week to approve a new one-year contract with the County after almost nine months of contentious negotiations, during which county administration and the Board of Supervisors claimed repeatedly not to know or understand what was available to them in the budget.

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2022 Mendocino County Tentative Agreement Highlights
Here's a summary of what we won in our tentative agreement. Ratification happening this week.

Our contract campaign was incredibly challenging considering the level of dysfunction and lack of basic understanding of the county’s finances in both the Mendocino County administration and the Board of Supervisors. In the interest of providing some immediate relief to current employees and preventing the staffing crisis from growing worse, our union bargaining team has reached a tentative agreement that addresses some of our concerns while providing the opportunity to make more progress next year by reopening the contract at the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year.

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Mendocino County Tentative Agreement Ratification Meetings
Schedule & RSVP

Members have received a summary of the tentative agreement in their personal emails. If you did not receive the email and you are a member, please contact Patrick Hickey at patrick.hickey@seiu1021.org.

During the ratification meetings, union leaders will explain the tentative agreement and answer any questions you may have. All voting will take place at these meetings, as well as at the union office during the hours indicated below. Please attend one of the meetings below to vote.

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Mendocino County workers plead with Board of Supervisors and CEO to prioritize public services
The County CEO and Board continue to claim ignorance about the budget as services and workers suffer

Rain and cold can’t stop Mendocino County workers from taking a stand for public services.

With each week that goes by, more Mendocino County employees resign to work for neighboring counties or for other organizations. In Family and Children’s Services, the vacancy rate is already over 40 percent and climbing, with at least six more employees jumping ship in October alone. And that is not just inconvenient for the staff who remain: It’s dangerous and could even cost lives.

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Mendocino County workers take CEO and Board of Supervisors to task over continued inaction
The County's inaction on its staffing crisis paints a picture of incompetence or indifference to the needs of its most vulnerable.

 

Mendocino County workers once again rallied and flooded the Board of Supervisors meeting last Tuesday, October 18, as county administration continues to claim ignorance about its budget — despite abundant evidence that its finances are healthy – and pays lip service to its workers while refusing to address the staffing crisis that is driving more and more of them away.

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Fed-up Mendocino County workers hold pickets in Willits, Ukiah, and Fort Bragg to alert public to administration’s failures
As the San Francisco lawyers negotiating for the County rack up hundreds of thousands in fees, administration stubbornly refuses to address the staffing crisis decimating critical services for the county’s most vulnerable, demanding takeaways

The stench of hypocrisy is in the air, as Mendocino County administration claims it can do nothing to staunch the outflow of its workforce. Many of these workers are paid so far below market rates for stressful positions serving the county’s most vulnerable residents that they can earn more at burger joints. In fact, they are now demanding that their workers accept a 16 percent increase in healthcare costs in exchange for a mere two percent cost of living adjustment (COLA).

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In Mendocino County, the fight for a living wage continues

SEIU 1021 members working for Mendocino County are still locked in a tough fight for a fair contract with the county administration and board of supervisors, who continue to cry poverty despite lack of evidence of a financial crisis. Even worse, they are blaming faulty bookkeeping for their own incompetence or unwillingness to find solutions to the County’s severe staffing crisis, even as it slows down and endangers crucial services for the most vulnerable residents.

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Mendocino County workers fill Board of Supervisors meeting to protest continued inaction
As the Board of Supervisors and county administrators point fingers over budget chaos, county workers continue to provide vital services against impossible odds every day. But how much longer can they wait for solutions to the staffing crisis?

Public disputes among members of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the county administration over the reliability and accuracy of the budget have reached a fever pitch. County workers are still waiting for the Board to take action to protect services amidst a worsening staffing problem. With an overall vacancy rate of 27%, it is clear that the county is very short-staffed – but certain crucial classifications are short by as much as 40 to nearly 70%.

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Mendocino County workers rally at board of supervisors, demand action to address staffing crisis
With vacancy rates as high as 67% in critical positions, the County cannot afford to lose another worker and needs desperately to recruit – but it is doing nothing to plug the drain.

About 80 Mendocino County workers flooded the board of supervisors meeting in a sea of purple this morning, protesting the county’s inaction in the face of a major staffing crisis.

Family and Children’s Services social workers: 40 percent vacancy rate. Mental health clinicians: 67 percent vacancy rate. Public health nurses: 29.6 percent vacancy rate. Department of Transportation road crews: 32 percent vacancy rate. Employment and family services eligibility workers: 20 percent vacancy rate.

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Mendocino County Workers Rally at Board of Supervisors Meeting to Demand Action on Staffing Crisis

Overworked child protective service workers are unable to follow up on reports of abuse and neglect in a timely manner. Public works employees are unable to keep up with important infrastructural work like filling potholes. Eligibility workers are too short-staffed to keep pace with the volume of applications for food stamps and other safety-net services desperately needed in a county with a poverty rate of over 14%. These are the costs to the residents of Mendocino County of the County’s staffing crisis.

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“There’s Nowhere to Live Here”
SEIU 1021 Mendocino County chapters release report addressing Mendocino County’s housing crisis causes, offering recommendations

Dec. 20, 2021: “I can think of a half a dozen employees that the County has offered jobs to here on the coast, but they had to turn down the offer, because they couldn’t find anywhere to live,” reported one Mendocino County employee in a survey. “The average apartment rents for about $1200 to $1300 per month. The rental agency requires your income to be three times the rent. I make around $35 per hour, and I can’t even afford that. How is someone who makes minimum wage or is a single parent supposed to find a place to live?” laments another survey respondent.

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How one member’s efforts turned into a movement for racial justice in Mendocino County

In May of 2020, the country and most of the world were shocked as we witnessed the untimely loss of George Floyd’s life at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. As the pain and outrage of another state-sanctioned murder sparked movements and marches across the globe, Troyle Tognoli, the Mendocino County Chapter Vice President, was activated to call on her peers and organize her community to bring awareness and change through the Black Lives Matter movement.

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As housing costs continue to rise, Mendocino County members come together to find solutions

California’s affordable housing crisis is a complex problem, and one that touches us all—residents, employers, businesses, and beyond. Recent wildfires haven’t helped, as our housing stock has been further depleted by natural disasters. Many of our north coast communities are feeling the effects of this crisis, including our members in Mendocino County who recently decided to get together and look for solutions.
 

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Making a Difference: Mendocino Members Speak Up and Prevent COVID-19 Vaccines from Going to Waste

SEIU 1021 Mendocino County workers rally for an economy that works for everyone.

When a freezer that was used to store the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a Northern California hospital broke down in early January, hospital officials realized they only had about two hours to administer the more than 800 doses that were stored inside. Our Mendocino County members immediately jumped into action, assisting in the rapid deployment of vaccines to their community. In just two hours, workers were able to get 200 badly needed doses administered.