Solidarity and Member-Led Actions Lead to Greater Safety Measures at the City of Berkeley
After a tremendous show of solidarity from their fellow City of Berkeley coworkers, community leaders, and members of other unions, a citywide strike was averted in the late hours of Friday, June 15.
Days leading up to their contract expiration, Berkeley workers held actions almost every day, often drawing hundreds of workers and their families to rallies. From solid waste workers, analysts, parking enforcement officers, clerical staff to librarians and public nurses, workers came out in full force and assembled picket signs in the city hall lobby. They brought together local elected leaders, members from IBEW, AFSCME 3299, Local 1, and IAFF 1277, and fellow SEIU 1021 members from other chapters to join them in a fight for a fair and equitable contract.
Late Friday evening, City administrators and the SEIU 1021 Bargaining Team agreed to a two-year tentative agreement that guarantees fair wage increases, greater safety measures. And a joint labor, management, and community work group to develop an apprenticeship program.
“Berkeley workers came together to fight for improvements in services to the public in this contract,” said Rebecca Webb, a Berkeley a customer service representative working in the 311 call center and a member of SEIU Local 1021. “Our city leaders heard our concerns, and I’m encouraged by their willingness to partner with us in coming up with solutions to the problems facing our city.”