August 2013

Advocacy Center PIP Victory!


SEIU Local 221 Advocacy Center staff WON the Arbitration against the County of San Diego over the issue of Union representation at PIP meetings. The Arbitrator found that the County violated the MOA when it denied representation at a member’s PIP meeting, the Arbitrator ordered the County to remove all discipline from the member’s file and ordered that representation be allowed in all employee PIP meetings when the employee believes that discipline may result.

Read the full text of the decision here.

jennifer and sarah1

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Bargaining Update 8.29.13

County-Bargaining-ButtonThe Union Negotiating Committee met again this Wednesday for the third round of talks with the mediator.  After several months of hard work, the committee saw a positive move in the right direction.  County management, once again, indicated a willingness to sit across the table and work together.

Kathy Griffe Photo“For seven months we have been at the bargaining table attempting to negotiate an agreement with the County, and for seven months there was very little movement or progress.  During this time, SEIU members in San Diego County took action, stood together, made our voices heard and now the process is working.”  – Kathy Griffee, Public Health Nurse Supervisor

From the beginning of this process, the Negotiating Committee has reiterated their commitment to some common goals, all of which they are still hard at work to reach.

– Fair wage increases so we can support our families

– Affordable, quality healthcare for our families and ourselves

– Opportunities for fair promotions and transfers

– Our jobs should balance work and family

– Real voice for County employees

Pat Maldonado Photo“I joined the Bargaining Team because I felt that people weren’t being given what they deserve, and I even heard my co-workers losing faith in the Union.  I discovered now that through unity and the process of collective bargaining that we can stand strong together and build an even more powerful Union.”  – Pat Maldonado, Probation Aide

Why the sudden change in tone and this step in the right direction?  SEIU members have shown an unwillingness to remain silent, they have taken action in the worksites to build and grow our Union, and to support our Negotiating Committee through the process.  Members all across the County made a commitment to stay informed, stay active, and most importantly stay committed to this process!

Karen Hockensmith Photo“We are moving in the right direction, meet us at the Board of Supervisors on September 10th!”  – Karen Hockensmith, Social Services Supervisor


County Board of Supervisors Meeting

Tuesday, September 10th

8:30 a.m.

1600 Pacific Highway, 92101

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Bargaining Update 8.22.13


Our Union Negotiating Committee returned to the bargaining table with the County on Wednesday in our second post-impasse mediation. Fortunately, this meeting was positive and showed real signs of a positive outcome for County workers. County management showed a willingness to work together on several issues that are key to our negotiating committee, signaling a constructive environment for our negotiating process. However, our work is far from done, and our unity and commitment will continue.

We will return to mediation next Wednesday and continue to work together with the County to reach an agreement that offers workers the best possible outcome.

County workers continue to unite and communicate throughout the worksites, keeping in mind that until we have an agreement, we are committed to standing strong alongside our co-workers.

Here’s what you can do to join:

– Sign the petition that supports our negotiating committee’s hard work and effort, showing solidarity and unity in each worksite.

– Attend worksite meetings to get the latest news and updates about this process.

– Talk to your co-workers to make sure every County employee knows that SEIU members all across San Diego County are standing strong with their negotiating committee.

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Bargaining Update 8.15.13



Our Union Negotiating Committee returned to the bargaining table with the County on Wednesday in our first post-impasse mediation. We showed our willingness to find common ground and narrow the differences between us. We signed off on seven management proposals that we agreed to last month.  These proposals include a modest improvement in the boot allowance and slightly stronger safety language.

We signaled through the mediator our willingness to consider a 3-year contract with real wage increases and benefit improvements that get better in the 2nd and 3rd year.

Additionally, we sent the signal that we are ready to make progress towards a fair contract that respects workers while also addressing legitimate concerns raised by management, but the County management did not reciprocate.

The County management continues to disrespect and dismiss workers concerns. They showed no sign of significant movement to restrict involuntary transfers, improve overtime pay, get paid the higher rate when we work out of title, or protect our right to representation under the grievance procedure.

We will return to mediation next wednesday and continue to press the County management to change their tune and find areas of common ground so we can narrow the issues that divide us.  Bargaining is not a one-way street.

County workers will not agree to an unfair contract nor will we go away quietly.

It is time for every worker to take action!

  • Sign the petition that says you support the Negotiating Committee’s unanimous decision to reject the County’s proposals.

  • Commit to your co-workers that they can count on you to take whatever legally protected job action is necessary to win a fair contract.

  • Attend worksite meetings and make your voice heard.

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Member Appreciation Day at Petco!

Join SEIU Local 221 at Petco Park for a fun summer afternoon with friends and family. Show your solidarity by wearing your purple t-shirts. We will also be celebrating the one-year anniversary of SEIU Local 221 President, David Garcias!

SEIU Local 221 will provide a ticket to the game in the Upper Reserved Right Field, Sections 227 and 229, next to the Budweiser Patio on the Terrace level. Enjoy hot dogs, chips, and soda before the game all for a low price of $8.00 per person. Tickets are limited so purchase yours early! Tickets can be purchased at our Union Hall during business hours or by contacting your Worksite Organizer.

Padres vs. NY Mets

Game starts at 1:05 p.m.

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Lunch: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Tailgate Park

(Parking not included with ticket)

We will be on the East side of the parking lot, which will be roped off and our purple SEIU banners will be visible. Feel free to bring folding chairs or blankets.

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Stewards’ Recognition Banquet

Steward Awards Logo

In honor of your dedication and commitment to Local 221 and its members we would like to invite you to a banquet in your honor. You and your fellow Stewards will be treated to lunch and a special presentation, including a Steward of the Year Award. Please join us to celebrate YOU!

Stewards’ Recognition Banquet

Saturday, August 24, 2013

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Best Western Island Palms Hotel

205 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106 – Grand Marina Room

Special guest speaker is Mickey Kasparian, President of UFCW Local 135 and the Labor Council

Space is limited, please RSVP to or (858) 560-0151.

Nominate your favorite Steward by going to this link and filling out a nomination form.


From: The south or west.
If you are traveling on either Interstate 5 south or Interstate 8 west, take the Rosecrans Exit and continue on Rosecrans to Shelter Island Drive and turn left. At the fork in the road, stay to the right, and continue to the BEST WESTERN PLUS Island Palms Hotel & Marina.

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Bargaining Update 7.31.13

Our SEIU Local 221 County Negotiating Committee voted unanimously to reject the County’s last, best offer and declare impasse. We committed from the very beginning that we would not be bullied by the County into a contract based on fears, ultimatums and threats. We said that a Fair Contract needed to achieve goals approved by our members at the start of negotiations:

– Fair Wage Increase, Not 1-Time Bonuses

– Affordable Quality Healthcare

– Working Together to Provide the Best Service to Our Community

– Fair Promotions and Transfers

– A Real Voice for San Diego County Workers

Instead, the County management used the old playbook. They ignored our experience and our concerns. They decided that they were going to dictate the deal and not listen. And like last time, they proposed a bad deal and threatened to make it worse if we didn’t cave in.

They proposed one-time bonuses which are the same as a wage freeze for the overwhelming majority of employees. They rejected proposed improvements to our health insurance or making progress toward parity in what we pay out-of-pocket. They ignored proposals for improved staffing and quality service. They not only rejected giving employees more rights and recourse at work, including for promotions and transfers, they proposed to further restrict employee recourse through the grievance procedure and in disciplinary matters. You can view the proposals on our website here.


1. Attend worksite meetings and vote to reject the County’s proposal

2. Sign the petition that commits to your co-workers across the County that:

a) We all reject the County proposal

b) They can count on you to participate in lawful, protected job actions that are voted on and supported by Union members

3. Support the decision to go through the Fact-Finding Process and call on the Board of Supervisors and County leadership to respect the decision of the Fact-Finding Panel

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IB Misc. Employees Reach Agreement!

We reached a tentative agreement on Tuesday, July 30th, for a new 2-year contract with the City of Imperial Beach. Your SEIU Local 221/IB Chapter Negotiating Committee is recommending that members vote YES and approve the new agreement.

While the agreement is not perfect, we made progress toward our main goals in negotiations:

Raises, Not Bonuses:  There are wage increases for each year of the contract for every IB Misc. Employee (Full Time or Part Time). In year one, effective July 1, 2013, a three (3%) percent wage increase across the board. In the second year, effective July 1, 2014, an additional three (3%) percent wage increase across the board. These are the first real raises since 2009.

Health Insurance Benefit Increases:  Non Kaiser Health Plan premiums decreased this year, but Kaiser Premiums increased by approximately 6%. The City has agreed to contribute an additional $25, increasing the Health Insurance Flexible Benefit from $855 to $880 each month effective January 1, 2014. In the second year effective January 1, 2015 a $50 increase will be added increasing the benefit from $880 to $930 each month. There is no change to the cash out limit.


1. The City will reimburse lifeguards, who have worked for the City at least 400 hours, for training, testing, books, and certificate expenses up to $900 for successfully completing the training and receiving an EMT certificate.

2. Part Time lifeguards will be eligible for a step increase on July 1st, if they have completed 600 hours in the previous 12-months.

Use of Personal Vehicle:  If a City vehicle is not available, employees may use their own vehicle to conduct City business with prior written authorization from their supervisor or HR. The employee must submit evidence to HR of automobile insurance. An employee may be reimbursed for mileage for use of their vehicle, but only if there is no City vehicle available.

Most importantly, the City of Imperial Beach management and City Council know who we are and that we will no longer be silent and invisible. Our members stepped up by attending Council meetings. We can’t stop now, we must continue forward to make sure that SEIU Local 221/IB Chapter is a strong, effective Union that stands up for workers and the community we serve.

Every worker needs to attend a ratification meeting and vote on the new contract.

Ratification Meetings

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

12:00 p.m. at Public Works Lunchroom

12:30 p.m. at the City Hall Community Room

1:00 p.m. at the Dempsy/Holder Safety Center

Each meeting will last about 30 minutes, you will cast your ballots, and at the conclusion of the final meeting we will count the ballots.


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