March 2017

SEIU members fight together – Campaign Update 2

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CAMPAIGN ACTION TEAM MEETING
6 pm Thursday, April 6
SEIU Local 221
4004 Kearny Mesa

We will have Public Employment Relations Board updates and information on the path forward, so everyone should attend.

UNITY SPOTLIGHT South Region Family Resource center on Oxford Street members say,
UNITY SPOTLIGHT South Region Family Resource center on Oxford Street members say, “It’s time for the County of San Diego to put people first and Invest in San Diego Families.”
 

SEIU members fight together

Tracey Carter

By TRACEY CARTER

SEIU LOCAL 221 COUNTY CHAPTER PRESIDENT
 
The SEIU 221 County bargaining team says this time it’s different, and this time we FIGHT together!
The County representatives’ position is and has always been that the members must accept the extension agreement including the Tier D Pension.
SEIU members chose to bargain rather than accepting the extension which is our right and responsibility.

Crystal Irving: ‘not going to be pushed around’

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SEIU Local 221 Bargaining Team Member Crystal Irving said, “Now is the time to join the Union. People are beginning to realize the power that comes with being a part of SEIU Local 221.” Go to SEIU Local 221’s Facebook page and website for more updates.

I am a Protective Services Worker and Recruitment Specialist with the Foster and Adoptive Resource Family Services program at North Central, Child Welfare Services. Recently, people have been coming to my partner, Lisa, and me asking questions about the progress of bargaining and to get SEIU Local 221 membership applications. I tell them that our standoff with the County is actually positive. It shows that we are stronger than ever and that we are not going to be pushed around. Any time there is a real change or movement, it is going to be uphill. We are simply on the uphill part of our journey. The fact that the County is afraid of us and refusing to sit at the table shows our power. Our Invest in San Diego Families partners help us understand how we can better serve the families in our communities. Having Invest in San Diego Families as members of our bargaining team actively demonstrates that the community supports the great work that we do, as county employees. It is a beautifully powerful display of how we support each other. Historically, we have been painted as employees that just want more money, but are not willing to work hard. Now, our Invest in San Diego Families bargaining team members are standing with us to say that we work diligently and make a great impact on the county that we so proudly serve. This new found power is to be commended and recognized, however, we cannot slow down now. There are people who remain skeptical about the Union and what it can do for them. They say, “Nothing ever gets done.” As a proud member of the Union and bargaining team, I respond, “Nothing is going to get done until YOU become a member of our union.” People are beginning to realize the power that comes with being a part of SEIU Local 221, and we are starting to see an increase in numbers and action! We will stay strong! We will be victorious!

Click here to print out a copy of the Campaign Update and hang it at your worksite

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County trying to divide us – Campaign Update 1

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CAMPAIGN ACTION TEAM MEETING
6 pm Thursday, April 6
SEIU Local 221
4004 Kearny Mesa

We will have Public Employment Relations Board updates and information on the path forward, so everyone should attend.

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UNITY SPOTLIGHT Oceanside Family Resource Center members stand together to make the County of San Diego Invest in San Diego Families and bargain fairly.

County trying to divide us

TraceyCarter
Tracey Carter

By TRACEY CARTER
SEIU LOCAL 221 COUNTY CHAPTER PRESIDENT

The County is refusing to bargain, why? They are trying to divide us. The County has never wanted to bargain.

SEIU members decided to have Invest in San Diego Families representatives on the committee because their expertise and knowledge is critical to pushing the County to address serious problems impacting the ability of employees to provide services.

 

Steward Gerrell Howard: ‘stand strong, together’

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Steward Gerrell Howard said, “People who want to know more should check SEIU Local 221’s Facebook page and website for more updates. They will make you want to become more active in the fight.”

I am an eligibility specialist at North Central Family Resource Center. Veteran workers say bargaining always starts the same: the County says it is not giving workers anything. This time we are thinking not just about ourselves but our clients too and the neighborhoods we live in. We have been working with the community for almost two years, with the Invest in San Diego Families coalition. The County’s trying to delay and divide us now. They started at the low end of the scale and made an offer to small groups and associations, offers those groups took without asking questions. The County tried the same thing with SEIU verbally. It was not in writing and not even an official offer. What the other groups got, after taxes and paying into retirement, they will end up right back where they started. In speaking to veterans, never before has the County put alternative facts on [the intranet site] Insite before. It shows that they are worried about the power we are building. We are a large group. If we stand strong, stand together, we can win for everyone. Anyone who is not a member, you need to get on winning team, so you have a right to vote on the awesome new contract we will receive.

Click here to print out a copy of Campaign Update 1 and hang it at your worksite

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Campaign Action Team update: We are ready to bargain

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about what is going on with bargaining:

Why does the County keep talking about an extension agreement?

The County is hoping SEIU 221 members accept their pension concession and a five-year deal without asking questions.

Why is the union composing their team of County employees AND community partners?

Because bargaining is about improving jobs, including wages, benefits and working conditions for County employees. Community partners on the bargaining team have insight into the quality of the service we provide, which directly impacts the employees’ working conditions. Community partners make us stronger!

Why didn’t SEIU 221 accept the extension?

The County NEVER submitted an extension offer in writing. They insisted the elected leadership of SEIU 221 agree to recommend the verbal terms of an extension (five years, average 2.5 percent per year and a pension take-away. The pension take-away would have meant giving up 30 years of an unquantified benefit for employees in exchange for five years of bonuses.) That is why we are bargaining.

Why won’t the County negotiate?

They refuse to allow SEIU 221 to compose its team. We can only guess that’s because our team is stronger and more skilled than ever before, and dividing us up would serve the County, not the County Employees.

What now?

Join the union! Fight for good jobs, a safety ladder, and smart justice. Join the Thursday unity breaks at your worksite, and get involved! Show the County that their messaging won’t divide our union, and that this time we are standing strong together.

They insist on controlling our bargaining team. We say no!

We are ready to bargain. They are trying to say no!

Stand up for our right to bargain!

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Tell the Board of Supervisors to bargain – March 15

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Tell the Board of Supervisors that this is our bargaining team, and we are ready to negotiate.
See the open letter by clicking here, then sign and support it by clicking here. Join us at 8:45 am on March 15 at the Board of Supervisors meeting. Don’t forget to put your time off requests for March 15 in now.

8:45 am Wednesday, March 15
Board of Supervisors North Chamber
1600 Pacific Highway, Room 310

RSVP to Joanna Stewart at joanna.stewart@seiu221.org or (858) 560-0151 ext. 265
In Solidarity,

David Garcias
President, SEIU Local 221

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SEIU 221 is ready to bargain

SEIU Local 221 is waiting to bargain, but the County’s bargaining team is refusing to meet. County employees have legally elected a bargaining team to negotiate with the County for the County employees.  Unfortunately, the County of San Diego has decided to avoid its obligation to bargain in good faith in a way we believe to be in violation of the law. Bargaining team members include people from groups who represent residents who use County services. These members have an interest in good working conditions for County employees and have been part of the union’s proposal process.
 
We call on the County Board of Supervisors to immediately begin bargaining in good faith. Sign the petition online now, and then print out petitions and get more signatures to make the County of San Diego Invest in San Diego Families.
 
The County also is attempting to win a lower pension tier without showing why the takeaway is required, something that smaller unions have accepted at face value.

SEIU Local 221 and the County will meet with a mediator on Thursday, March 9, to attempt to jumpstart bargaining. The County has agreed to release our bargaining team for this meeting.

Until then, keep calling the County Supervisors. Many people have reported that the Supervisors’ voicemails are full and they are unable to leave messages. If you call and get a message that the voicemail is full, send an email letting the Supervisor know that you tried to call but were unable to leave a message.

Here is a simple script: “I am calling to leave an important message for Supervisor __________. 

My name is __________ and I am a member of SEIU 221 and I am asking the Supervisor to ask the County to stop breaking the law and support our right to choose our own bargaining team.”

  • Greg Cox (619) 531-5511
  • Dianne Jacob (619) 531-5522
  • Kristin Gaspar (619) 531-5533
  • Ron Roberts (619) 531-5544
  • Bill Horn (619) 531-5555
In Solidarity,
 
David Garcias
President, SEIU Local 221
 
 

 

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Begin bargaining in good faith

1703BargaininGoodFaithSan Diego County is failing us. 

Invest in San Diego Families is a coalition united in a vision of ensuring that San Diego County is a place in which all San Diegans truly thrive and have quality lives. In order to make this vision a reality, we are united as County employees, residents, community organizations, and faith groups working together in a common struggle to make sure elected and civic leaders fully invest in the services we need and in the people who provide them.  

Here are just a few examples of the critical problems in our region for which the County has some responsibility:

  • Homelessness is now the fourth highest in the country; 
  • Poverty rates are even higher than during the Great Recession;
  • Housing costs are among the highest in the nation, and affordable housing is difficult to find; and  
  • The County ranks near the bottom in terms of enrolling eligible residents in assistance programs

County employees every day work to address these critical problems.  But they can only do so much without our getting them what they need to do their jobs.  

Rather than invest in our communities and working to solve these critical problems, our elected officials are sitting on nearly $2 billion dollars in cash reserves, an amount that has grown by $100 million per year for each of the last 7 years. Meanwhile, County services suffer from chronic understaffing and underfunding which is leaving the most vulnerable residents behind, and many critical needs unattended.  The chronic understaffing and underfunding is not only as to programs keeping the County employees from being able to fully address these problems, but the County is also understaffing and underfunding the County employee workforce, impacting the employees’ morale and their wages, benefits and working conditions.

As County employees and members of the Invest in San Diego Families Coalition, we have legally elected a bargaining team to negotiate with the County for the County employees.  Unfortunately, the County of San Diego has decided to avoid its obligation to bargain in good faith in a way we believe to be in violation of the law.

As County employees and members of the Invest in San Diego Families Coalition, we call on the County Board of Supervisors to immediately begin bargaining in good faith so we can work together to ensure that the services provided to our communities actually grow our economy and are invested throughout San Diego County to positively impact the lives of all families, and thereby become the example of what a good county should do.

Sign the petition online now, and then print out petitions and get more signatures to make the County of San Diego Invest in San Diego Families.

In Solidarity,

David Garcias

President, SEIU Local 221

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