July 2014

Advocacy Center Summer 2014 Victories!

ECS Head Start

An employee received a written warning which was reduced to a communication conference through the grievance procedure.

Superior Court

Three Court reporters were issued five day suspensions that were reduced to Letters of Reprimand after the Skelly conference. Steward Robin Casey worked on all three cases.

Sheriff’s Department

An employee was issued a one day suspension that was reduced to a written reprimand after the Skelly Hearing. The level of suspension was also reduced several times through the pre disciplinary hearings.


An LVN was issued a 30 day suspension which was reduced to a 15 day suspension after the Skelly hearing.


PUSD did not change a job description after they agreed to do so after a meet and confer. SEIU filed a group grievance and it was remedied at step one by changing the job description. Steward Arthur Hall worked on this case.

PUSD was using a substitute in a vacant bargaining unit position as a behind the wheel trainer in the transportation department, essentially giving away bargaining unit work and violating the contract. SEIU filed a group grievance and the issue was remedied at step one. The district agrees not to give away bargaining unit work and will only utilize subs when regular permanent behind the wheel trainers are unavailable. Additionally, the vacant position will also be posted internally. Steward Arthur Hall worked on this case.


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Neighborhood House Association Golf Gala in Rancho Bernardo Tees Off Head Start Teachers

On Friday, July 25, Head Start teachers represented by SEIU Local 221 and community supporters joined together to protest the unfair treatment by Neighborhood Housing Association (NHA) CEO Rudolph A. Johnson.

NHA hosted the 2014 NHA Golf Gathering to celebrate 100 years of service. It was a star studded affair, including guest appearances by Steadman Graham, actor Chris Tucker and former Charger Pete Shaw. Celebrities and NHA donors played golf at the Rancho Bernardo Inn to celebrate the services that NHA has provided for several generations of San Diegans.

While wealthy donors paid upwards of $7,500 to attend the event, many NHA Head Start teachers are embroiled in a serious battle to advocate for fair wages and benefits for their families. Several of those Head Start teachers went to the fundraiser Friday to ask that they not face retaliation for exercising their right to negotiate a new contract with the goal of improvements in compensation and working conditions for employees.

Who are Headstart workers? They are the men and women who perform a wide range of jobs, including teaching, providing assistance to Head Start families, transporting and feeding Head Start children and keeping Head Start centers clean and safe. Each Head Start employee provides a vital service to economically disadvantaged families in San Diego.

Over the last several months, NHA managers have developed a pattern of intimidation and threats to Head Start teachers. Since contract negotiations began this year, the number of terminations, suspensions and demotions have tripled. These disciplinary actions have coincided with Head Start teachers requesting to reopen their contract. These retributions are attacks on workers who are exercising their right to collectively bargain a fair contract.

“As Head Start teachers, we are the front-lines in creating a safe, productive learning environment for the next generation of children. It is shocking that an organization celebrating 100 years of service to the community would attempt to punish teachers simply for wanting to negotiate a fair contract,” said Belvia Gipson, a Head Start teacher for over 15 years.

Golf Gala Protest3The group has called upon Johnson and those who attended Friday’s event to stop intimidation tactics and negotiate in good faith. They peacefully distributed leaflets to attendees with the hope that they would ask CEO Rudolph Johnson to stop unfair treatment and retaliation.

Their trip was brief, but effective. Belvia Gipson, who has been a Head Start teacher for over 15 years and an employee of NHA for over 19, was confronted by a NHA staffer who told her she had no right to be at the event, “I work for NHA” she stated calmly, leaving the NHA staffer baffled before he quickly escorted her off the premises.

This article was originally posted by the San Diego Free Press, click here to read the original article.

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MM/PROF Wage Agreement Reached!

Chula Vista Reopener Update

MM/PROF Wage Agreement Reached!

Your bargaining team reached a tentative agreement on Tuesday, July 22nd with the City of Chula Vista. The team voted unanimously to recommend a YES vote by the membership.

Raises: All SEIU/MM/PROF employees will receive a 2% wage increase that will be retroactive to June 27, 2014. When negotiations began, the City offered SEIU/MM/PROF employees a proposal that divided the unit on what type of wage increases individuals in the unit would receive. Your bargaining team remained committed to getting fair and equitable increases across the board for all employees.


WHEN – AUGUST 4, 2014 WHERE – CITY HALL, BUILDING C RM. B-129 (276 4TH AVENUE) 1130:AM – 3:00PM WHO – ALL REPRESENTED EMPLOYEES ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND. ONLY MEMBERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO VOTE ON CONTRACT. NON-MEMBERS ARE WELCOME TO SIGN UP AND VOTE ON CONTRACT. For more information, contact Worksite Organizer, Mark Leo, at mark.leo@seiu221.org or (619) 992-4243. To download a flyer, click here.

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CVEA Agreement Reached!


Your bargaining team reached a tentative agreement on Tuesday, July 15th with Chula Vista management for an immediate wage increase! The team voted unanimously to recommend a YES vote by the membership.

A RAISE, not a one-time stipend: CVEA/SEIU employees will receive a 2% wage increase that will be retroactive to June 27, 2014. When negotiations began last March, the City offered CVEA/SEIU employees a $500 one-time stipend, with NO wage increases. The bargaining team flatly rejected this offer and told management to come back to the table with REAL increases.

Most importantly, our members took action by emailing councilmembers, leaving voicemails, wearing union buttons, and attending council meetings to remind our elected officials that we are valuable and it is time our paychecks reflect our worth! This is a good start leading into full contract negotiations that will begin early next year.


Informational Meetings:

Wednesday, July 23

3:45 – 4:30 PM: Public Works Large Conference Room (1800 Maxwell Road)

Thursday, July 24

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: City Hall, Building C, Rooms B111-B112 (276 Fourth Avenue)

2:00 – 2:30 PM: Animal Care Facility (130 Beyer Way)



Wednesday, July 30

11:00 AM – 1:00PM Chula Vista Police Department Community Room

3:45 – 4:30 PM: Public Works Large Conference Room (1800 Maxwell Road)


For more information, contact Mark Leo, Worksite Organizer, at mark.leo@seiu221.org or (619) 992-4243. To download this flyer, click here.


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CANCELLED – August 2014 Stewards’ Council Meeting

We regret to inform you that the August 2014 Stewards’ Council meeting has been cancelled. We apologize for any incovenience this might cause.

Please check back with us to learn about the exciting Stewards’ Council meeting we have scheduled for October 2014!

For more information, contact Jennifer Spirit at jennifer.spirit@seiu221.org or (858) 560-0151 ext. 226

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Victory! San Diego Raises Minimum Wage To $11.50 an Hour!


Thanks to the effort of hundreds of working San Diegans, a coalition of community and religious organizations and six Councilmembers, history has been made in San Diego! Last night, the San Diego City Council voted to pass the 5 earned sick days and $11.50 minimum wage measure.

What does the minimum wage increase mean for working families across San Diego? It will increase the wages of 172,000 San Diegans, and provide 279,000 working people with 5 days of earned sick leave. “As a result of the policy, working moms, people of color, and other low-wage earners will be able to pay another bill, buy their child school supplies, and be able to afford basic goods such as food, housing, and transportation. Additionally, no working San Diegan will have to choose between staying home to care for a sick loved one, and losing a day’s pay” wrote Norma Rodriguez for the Raise Up San Diego website.

“I am so proud of our city tonight. I see so many families that are struggling from paycheck to paycheck and this will help keep their heads above water. We have changed our city for the better, and I am happy that future generations of San Diegans will come into the workforce with these policies in place.” said Michelle Guevara, member of SEIU Local 221 and Head Start employee.

Raising the minimum wage is not just about better wages for workers. Raising the wage speaks to the larger fight for preserving the rights of all workers across San Diego.

To see more photos from the final hearing at San Diego City Hall, visit our Facebook.


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In 2014, Our Union Is Growing!


This year, SEIU 221 members have continued to build power through increased membership, COPE and unity. The 520 new SEIU members are an integral part of building strength for the employees we represent. Together, we are standing stronger and more united to fight for the needs of working families in San Diego.

For more information on how to strengthen your union, please contact your Steward, Worksite Organizer or email chase.golding@seiu221.org.

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SEIU Establishes New Labor-Management Table in AIS

SEIU members are proud to announce the newly established labor-management table for the Aging and Independent Services (AIS) branch of HHSA. This table is an opportunity to open dialogue between the management and employees and implement positive changes in our AIS programs. HHSA has made a commitment to work together with SEIU members to deepen a relationship focused on advancing the Aging and Independent Services branch.

The labor-management table is comprised of a team of representatives (your coworkers from IHSS, MSSP, Linkages and other programs) who will sit with management to work on improving working conditions. The types of issues discussed at a labor-management table are:

  1. Workload/Caseload
  2. Policies and Procedures
  3. Equipment and Safety
  4. Staffing
  5. Improving Internal Procedures

We need to hear from you!

The first labor management meeting will take place on Wednesday, July 30th. In order for the labor-management to be successful, members need to make their voices heard. Contact Worksite Organizer, Liz DeRoulet, with topics that you and your coworkers believe need to be addressed.

To learn more about the labor-management table and who your labor-management team representatives are, click here to download a flyer.



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You’re Invited!


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3rd Annual Steward of the Year Award Nomination

The annual Stewards Banquet will be held on Saturday, August 23rd at the Best Western Island Palms Hotel. The banquet is a special event to honor all of the hard work, dedication and commitment our Stewards make to Local 221 and its members.

Do you know a Steward who is a problem-solver, mentor, mediator and advocate? If so, nominate them for the Steward of the Year Award!

The Steward of the Year Award will be presented to Stewards from each division of the local. Any Steward, regardless of their position, can be nominated for this award. Nominees should demonstrate their commitment to the Membership and Union by having worked in any committees within the local or community events that support the Labor movement. The following are examples of volunteer activties outside of their duties at their worksite which satisfy the criteria:

  1. Participation on the Executive Board
  2. Participation as an Officer of Board Member for any Chapter
  3. Actively working on Local Committee such as MAAC, MPO, AFFINITY GROUP, etc.
  4. Working with groups that promote the Labor Movement

To download the nomination form, please click here.

ALL nominations must be received by August 9, 2014.

Please return all nomination forms to Christa Fink at christa.fink@seiu221.org.

**Please note: Members of the Stewards Recognition banquet Committee are INELIGIBLE for Steward of the Year. Any nomications for members of this committee will NOT be considered. Members of the Local 221 Executive Board ARE eligible for nomination but will exempt from participation in selection of the winners.
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