SEIU 1021

San Francisco Newsletter: August 2021


Welcome to the August issue of our monthly newsletter for SEIU 1021 members in San Francisco. You can read our July issue here, or keep reading below to see recaps of the big fights our members have taken on in the last month.

If you have a workplace issue you or your colleagues are dealing with and you’d like help and support from our union,  don’t forget that in addition to reaching out to your steward or labor representative, you can also contact the SEIU 1021 Member Resource Center at 1-877-687-1021.

Click one of the headlines below to read more about what our union has been up to.

SF Registered Nurses win huge arbitration victory restoring bilingual pay 

Earlier this year, our union filed for arbitration over management’s decision to begin withholding bilingual pay for nurses. Management stopped administering the test for bilingual pay, and refused to continue to give bilingual pay from nurses who had already been approved.

Earlier this month, we finally got word that the arbitrator had issued his decision, saying that the City blatantly violated the MOU by:

  • Failing to automatically roll the RNs who were already receiving bilingual premium pay into the new system in July 2019 and
  • Failing to have the new testing/certification system ready for months after the new contract became effective in July 2019.

This is a significant victory for our members. “This fight was about contract enforcement of our members’ benefits, telling our employers they cannot make empty promises and get away with it. More importantly, this was a social justice fight for equity for our patients and the communities. Everyone deserves healthcare in their primary or preferred language. Our members should feel proud of this win that we will go whatever length necessary to do what is right and just for all,” said Aaron Cramer, SFGH-RN Chief Shop Steward.

It is crucial that San Francisco’s residents be able to receive in-language care and attention when they seek medical services in our City’s healthcare facilities. Nurses rely on being able to communicate clearly with patients to learn about their symptoms, whether they’re experiencing pain, their medical history, and more in order to make informed decisions about care. San Francisco should be encouraging, not punishing, nurses who hone or maintain multi-lingual proficiency. 

The arbitrator ordered that City management make nurses whole who:

  • Had been receiving bilingual pay under the previous contract and then suddenly stopped receiving it under the 2019-22 contract; and

  • Were “assigned” to perform bilingual services and did deliver such services on or after July 1, 2019 but were prevented from sitting for and taking the exam, or otherwise prevented by bureaucratic ineptitude from receiving their bilingual pay.

When we fight, we win!

Members at Horizons secure a new contract with 3% wage increases and the continuation of their telecommuting stipend

Congratulations to SEIU 1021 members at Horizons in San Francisco on reaching a Tentative Agreement with management on their next contract!

These members provide critical services to Latino and other youth of color and their families. They are program coordinators, substance abuse counselors, and more who provide addiction, mental health, employment services, and other crucial services to community members in need.

The pandemic has resulted in a lot of uncertainty in worksites across Northern California, and Horizons is no exception. This new agreement will continue the telecommuting stipend program that was secured in our previous agreement, which will remain in effect as long as the shelter in place order stands in San Francisco or as long as the CDC and SFDPH mandate it.

We also secured a 3% wage increase, retroactive to July 1, 2021. Members are set to vote on this tentative agreement from Wednesday, August 25 through Friday, August 27. Congratulations!

SF Bargaining Team elections: Citywide nominees announced, plus RN and MTA Service Critical nominations are due on Friday, August 27!

Next year, three groups of elected SEIU 1021 members in San Francisco will sit down with management to begin our next round of negotiations—this includes the Citywide Bargaining Team, the Registered Nurse bargaining team, and the SFMTA Service Critical team.


Nominations for the Citywide team closed on Friday, August 13 and we’re excited to announce that we had 300 nominations submitted. Our Election Committee has verified the eligibility of each nominee, and we’ve reached out to third-party nominees to confirm their interest in running. You can visit to view the final list of candidates.

Registered Nurse & SFMTA service critical teams

Nominations for our Registered Nurse and our MTA Service Critical Bargaining Teams are now open! You can submit a nomination for yourself or a coworker between August 9 – 27, 2021. Click here to submit a nomination for our RN team, or click here to do so for the MTA Service Critical team.


Voting for our Citywide Bargaining Team will occur between September 15 – 22, 2021. Nominations for the RN & MTA Service Critical teams will close on August 27, and voting will occur between September 27 – October 4, 2021. You can see the full timelines for all three elections at

It’s important to verify that your correct contact information is one file in order to avoid any delays in you receiving your bargaining team election ballot in a timely manner. You can update or confirm your contact information using this form on the website or by calling our Member Resource Center at 1-877-687-1021.

Congratulations to our recently sworn in Chapter officers from SFO!

Congratulations to our new Chapter officers from SFO who were sworn in on August 13 at the San Mateo Central Labor Council COPE dinner:

James Maher, President
Jessica Tran, Vice President
Maria Hamilton, Secretary
Robin Gottschall, Treasurer
Manuel Castro, COPE Delegate

Chapter elections are all about membership democracy in action. They’re an important way that we ensure our union is member-led and that we are focused on the priorities of members across job classifications and worksites. Congratulations to these leaders on their election!

Say NO to the anti-union recall campaign against Gov. Newsom

Watch this video of Jennifer Esteen, an RN with the City & County of San Francisco and SEIU 1021’s VP of Organizing, talk about why she’s opposing the recall.

Ballots are already arriving in mailboxes and the election is right around the corner. We’ve all have been working hard throughout this pandemic and Governor Newsom has been a great partner to us. That’s why SEIU members have endorsed voting NO on the anti-union recall of Governor Newsom, and are recommending not filling out a selection for his replacement.

Together, we have won some really important victories under Governor Newsom:

  • Guaranteed paid sick leave for every worker during the pandemi
  • Expanded access to child care and rate increases for child care providers
  • Prevented millions of evictions with a $5.2 billion rent relief program
  • Provided PPE for our healthcare workers
  • Fought for school funding and signed into law the largest increase in California history.

This recall puts all of that is at risk. It is a wasteful attempt by right-wing, anti-union groups to grab power and its costing California taxpayers $276 million dollars. This partisan and divisive recall is a distraction from the work ahead of us and a direct attack on all the progress we have made.

We need your help. Sign up and help us stop the anti-union takeover of our state by joining our voter outreach efforts.

Ramsés Teón-Nichols, who is SEIU 1021 Vice President of Politics and a member from Community Housing Partnership in San Francisco, said, “If we were to lose the duly-elected governor and have someone who is anti-union or will promote dangerous ideas like cutting minimum wage or gutting other vital services, it could roll back all of our efforts and progress over the last decade.

The $276 million that we are being forced to spend on this recall election could be better used on schools and public services.  There are many public services and school programs that our members can point to where this money would be better spent.

I urge members to take this matter seriously. We have a Governor right now who listens to public servants and frontline workers like SEIU 1021 members. He’s opened his door to us. We have only one month left, so now is the time for all of us to be talking to our friends, coworkers, neighbors, and beyond to make sure they fill out their ballot on time.”

Members-at-large who want to attend the SEIU 1021 2021 Virtual Convention: registration begins on Friday, August 27

Beginning Friday, August 27, registration for non-delegate members will open for the SEIU 1021 Virtual Convention. SEIU 1021 Convention Delegates, the Local Executive Board, and guests will be part of an exciting convention program that includes dynamic speakers and includes the presentation of our convention platforms that will guide our union’s work for the next three years.

Our convention member leaders seek to “Organize Good Trouble” to improve the lives of our members and the lives of our community residents by approving plans and projects around Economic Justice, Racial Justice, Climate Justice, Unions For All, Reclaiming Our Democracy and Member Unity and Power. These convention platforms are more than just titles or headers. These platforms will determine where we focus our organizing efforts, what political movements we will support, and what stance we will take on social issues as a Union. In California we must build power for working people, that is why we are championing Unions for All. 

“We’re all very aware of how climate change is impacting us. Living in this state, we’re on the forefront of it. We’re being impacted by drought, we’re being impacted by fires—it’s important to bring those conversations into your discussions about what the union wants to do and how the union can impact these things,” said Mary Sandberg, SEIU 1021 Vice President of the North Coast, when discussing the role our union can play in achieving climate justice“We can have a big impact, through our strength as a union and through our voice as workers who are on the frontlines helping people recover through these disasters.”

Advance registration is required for all non-delegate members. Visit on Friday, August 27 to register and learn more.