“Direct action gets the goods” say Progress Foundation members who win themselves a new agreement
SEIU 1021 members at Progress Foundation, a nonprofit in San Francisco providing community—based behavioral and mental health services, recently ratified a new agreement with management. The new agreement contains a number of victories for members including:
- A 12% pay increase over three years (3% in FY21-22, 4% in 22-23, and 5% in 23-24) plus language that would increase these amounts if funding levels from the City & County are higher than expected;
- Nine floating holidays per year of employment;
- Language giving the shop steward or union representative time to speak during monthly staff meetings about contract enforcement, new member orientation, and other union events and activities;
- And additional language expanding bilingual pay, allowing for virtual participation in team meetings, and more.
“Our members were fairly organized from the start, and we had a good set of regular shop stewards. We made sure anyone could observe the bargaining process so when management tried to lie, manipulate, or gaslight us, everyone watching could report back to their coworkers about the dishonesty and disrespect we experienced in the meetings,” said Josiah Branaman, a counselor at Progress Foundation. “This included management’s attempts to tell us that their staffing system was working despite us being clearly shortstaffed or that bilingual work isn’t extra work. Then we got about half the shop on a Discord server as a tool for communication to keep everybody updated so when management stonewalled us, we could mobilize, and when they refused to move we could picket them. When they refused to bargain, we picketed them again. Direct action gets the goods!”