SEIU 1021

San Francisco City & County workers take their fight against short-staffing to a whole new level


The City and County of San Francisco has a staffing crisis. Decades of cutbacks have contributed to this crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made things worse than ever. Research indicates that the city has over 3,800 unfilled jobs, which forces members to do more with less and has potential impacts on service delivery for residents. Now, as SEIU 1021 members head to the bargaining table this year and the city continues to drag its heels on adequately staffing services, members are looking to turn up the heat on management.

City workers from unions across San Francisco are working together to present a united front to management around common issues—including the city’s staffing crisis. As part of that effort, the city’s public unions have been collaborating on a powerful new advertising campaign that’s going live across San Francisco to remind City management that, “To make our city work, we need city workers.”

“I am proud of this campaign, which lifts up our members around San Francisco and highlights the important work we do. On billboards, transit shelters, buses, social media, the radio, and streaming television, the residents of San Francisco will be reminded over the next few months just how critical our contributions are to making this city run. Ensuring that the public is informed about the work we do and the important services that we deliver, and also sees that we are fighting for common good issues that benefit everyone, is critical to the success of our campaign,” said Theresa Rutherford, SEIU 1021 Vice President of San Francisco. “It’s also essential to maximizing the pressure on management and the Mayor’s office to take action to “Staff Up San Francisco” and invest in workers like us. The fact that San Francisco’s public unions are collaborating on such a public effort should also put city leadership on notice that we will not let them try to divide us.”

The ads are already going live across the city, and feature SEIU 1021 members in a range of different jobs and departments including transit workers, healthcare workers, rec and park staff, and more.

In addition to the advertising campaign, members also continue to organize rallies and public events at City Hall and across worksites to show management that we are fired up, united, and ready for change. A spirited campaign kickoff was held on February 16 outside City Hall, with hundreds of city workers in attendance.

There is also a lunchtime rally and unity break scheduled for March 10 outside of San Francisco General Hospital (RSVP here), as well as March Down Market for Public Services on March 23 (RSVP here), which is being hosted by the San Francisco Labor Council.