SEIU 1021

SEIU 1021 members at Vacaville Unified Schools win huge grievance settlement


On April 22, SEIU 1021 won a settlement agreement to repay Vacaville Unified School District (VUSD) members approximately $180,000 after the district erroneously docked their pay.

This settlement resulted from a grievance fight that began in May 2023. At that time, 1021 VUSD Chapter VP Kim McNeil learned that numerous members’ pay had been docked for using sick leave beyond their accrued leave bank. Under the union’s collective bargaining agreement and the California Education Code, classified employees may take up to 100 days per fiscal year of sick leave for personal illness or injury and must be paid no less than 50% of their pay for those days.

However, unless they provided a doctor’s note, these employees were being docked at 100% of their hourly rate for all hours missed once they were out of accrued sick leave.

The district unilaterally implemented this new policy in January 2023 without negotiating it with 1021. Despite delays in the grievance process, including attempts by one district administrator to force the matter through bargaining, McNeil and VUSD Chapter President Barbra Hamilton kept the pressure on and moved the matter through the grievance process to the arbitration stage.

“The district decided to make a change regarding pay docks for our classified staff without consulting with SEIU 1021. We had to make a stand and fight for our rights,” said Barbra Hamilton. ”When we fight…we win!” 

With arbitration less than two months away, a different set of district administrators agreed to make our members whole and cease the docking practice.

Because of our union’s perseverance, hundreds of 1021 members will receive back pay for their sick leave usage for the past year and a half!