July 2017

BREAKING: County withdraws frivolous injunction request and charge

 
Tracey Carter

BREAKING: County withdraws frivolous injunction request and charge

By TRACEY CARTER
SEIU LOCAL 221 COUNTY CHAPTER PRESIDENT

On Thursday, the County filed a frivolous motion in an attempt to stop SEIU Local 221 from conducting an unfair-labor-practice strike (and another Public Employment Relations Board charge). Within 24 hours, the County withdrew the motion and the charge.

In keeping with our commitment to providing quality services to the residents of San Diego, the Union officially agreed to give 10 days prior notice of any strike.

The workers, represented by SEIU 221, believe that we can reach a mutually acceptable agreement with the County once the County begins to bargain in good faith. The Union has offered to meet on Aug. 10, 17 and 24 to bargain over details of the new health plans for Non-Kaiser members.

Our unfair-labor-practice strike vote continues today. Click here for the list of voting sites

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All members and pet lovers: Make sure to come to the Board of Supervisors meeting at 8:30 am with your dog on Tuesday, Aug. 1 to fight outsourcing.

Bring your pets. We will rally at the south entrance to the San Diego County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, near the playground.

Animal Services Employees and Community Members will tell the board it’s time to stop the contracting out process. The professional, highly trained County employees have the skills and experience to provide the most economic, safest and efficient services for the people of San Diego.

RSVP by clicking here.

One of the major issues we’ve been bargaining about is how to improve services and safety for everyone, especially the neediest San Diegans. For example, we filed CalOSHA complaints about reports of unsafe conditions at Family Resource Centers.

 
 
 
This is a fight for the very existence of our union and our right to organize, and we aren’t backing down.

We must stand strong, together, and everyone must participate:

  • If you are not a member, join the Union. We must send a message of unity and strength to the County.
  • Participate in unity breaks and worksite actions every Thursday. If you don’t know the plan for your worksite, contact your steward or worksite organizer.
  • For a complete list of information about bargaining and more details go to seiu221.org

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BREAKING NEWS: County hires high-price lawyer to file frivolous injunction

 
Tracey Carter

BREAKING NEWS: County hires high-price lawyer to file frivolous injunction

By TRACEY CARTER
SEIU LOCAL 221 COUNTY CHAPTER PRESIDENT

BREAKING NEWS: Last night we learned that the County, in a desperate move based on fear that workers will vote to authorize a strike, hired an overpaid private law firm to continue its campaign of harassment and intimidation instead of bargaining in good faith. 

Instead of focusing on reaching an agreement, the County is wasting taxpayer dollars on frivolous and wasteful legal games. The firm they hired in notorious for repeatedly assisting its clients in taking aggressive actions against working families, resulting in findings of liability and millions of dollars in back pay paid by taxpayers.

Specifically, the County is asking PERB (Public Employee Relations Board) to issue a restraining order against our strike authorization vote and preparations.  This is clearly a baseless and frivolous effort — there hasn’t even been a vote cast yet on the Unfair-Labor-Practice strike authorization.   The County is clearly afraid that SEIU members will overwhelmingly support an Unfair Labor Practice strike and want to keep us from conducting the vote. This is another page from the County’s playbook: Its goal is to use a disinformation campaign to intimidate our membership and bargaining team.

Our chief negotiator and lead attorney, both of whom have been through dozens and dozens of negotiations, have concluded that this tactic is frivolous and have warned us that more frivolous charges and legal actions are around the corner!

Here is the truth: SEIU members have the absolute legal right to vote on a ULP strike and to participate in a ULP strike, and no County fear tactics, frivolous charges or taxpayer-money guzzling lawyer can take that away from you.

Our ULP strike votes kicks off today, July 27, uninterrupted.  Once again, click here for the list of voting sites

 

 

 
 
One of the major issues we’ve been bargaining about is how to improve services and safety for everyone, especially the neediest San Diegans. For example, we filed CalOSHA complaints about reports of unsafe conditions at Family Resource Centers.
 
 
 
This is a fight for the very existence of our union and our right to organize, and we aren’t backing down.

We must stand strong, together, and everyone must participate:

  • If you are not a member, join the Union. We must send a message of unity and strength to the County.
  • Participate in unity breaks and worksite actions every Thursday. If you don’t know the plan for your worksite, contact your steward or worksite organizer.
  • For a complete list of information about bargaining and more details go to seiu221.org

 

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60 sites to have Unfair Labor Practice Strike Vote – Campaign update 20

 
Tracey Carter

Bargaining Team to have vote in 60 sites after overwhelmingly calling for strike-authorization vote to protest the County’s unfair labor practices, including arbitrary “deadlines” to try to freeze the bargaining process

By TRACEY CARTER
SEIU LOCAL 221 COUNTY CHAPTER PRESIDENT

We were disappointed but not surprised on Thursday, July 20 when the County presented what it titled “Last, Best and Final Offer.” This had the deadline of Aug. 4 despite many lingering questions, including a list of providers for the new health plan option.
From the beginning the County has been trying to punish its employees and their Union for bargaining. It has offered successively worse deals with arbitrary deadlines — and not even provided the basic information we need to respond to the deals. Coming in with one offer and telling employees to take it or leave it is not bargaining.
That is why we are having an Unfair Labor Practice Strike Vote. It will be open to all Union members. This is a tentative timeline with locations and times. 

SEIU Local 221 presented a counter proposal. Highlights include
  • A 5-percent wage increase across-the-board for 3 years
  • Health care – flex increases are 7 percent OR enough to cover the costs of a Kaiser family plan
  • Equities – 3 percent, 5 percent, and 10 percent based on the outcome of the SEIU Local 221’s research on six-comparable counties
One of the major issues we’ve been bargaining about is how to improve services and safety for everyone, especially the neediest San Diegans. For example, we filed CalOSHA complaints about reports of unsafe conditions at Family Resource Centers.
This is a fight for the very existence of our union and our right to organize, and we aren’t backing down.

We must stand strong, together, and everyone must participate:

  • If you are not a member, join the Union. We must send a message of unity and strength to the County.
  • Participate in unity breaks and worksite actions every Thursday. If you don’t know the plan for your worksite, contact your steward or worksite organizer.
  • For a complete list of information about bargaining and more details go to seiu221.org

 

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Department of Animal Services survey

San Diego County has called three public hearings on short notice to discuss their proposal to outsource the Depertment of Animal Services (click here to seen an editorial with background information), which would cause more than 120 employees to lose their jobs and impact the safety, services and efficiency of the duties currently provided by Animal Services.  At the hearing, representatives have claimed to be interested in public feedback, but they haven’t bothered to put their survey online.

You can fill out the survey below, and SEIU will submit it to the county.

Also, please sign the petition by clicking here.

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‘Take it or leave it’ is not bargaining!

County stalls for 9 months then presents 5 year deal with bonus that is still less than what they gave other units.  Bargaining Team overwhelmingly calls for strike authorization vote

Today the County presented what it titled “Last, Best and Final Offer.” This had the deadline of Aug. 4 despite many lingering questions, including a list of providers for the new health plan option.

Read the entire County proposal by clicking here.

SEIU Local 221 presented a counter proposal. Highlights include

  • A 5-percent wage increase across-the-board for 3 years
  • Health care – flex increases are 7 percent OR enough to cover the costs of a Kaiser family plan
  • Equities – 3 percent, 5 percent, and 10 percent based on the outcome of the SEIU Local 221’s research on six-comparable counties

Click here to read the entire SEIU Local 221 proposal

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CAT Team votes to recommend ULP strike authorization

On July 18 at the Campaign Action Team meeting at Marina Village, more than 100 members came to plan for the County Campaign. Member leaders called for a vote to recommend their bargaining team begin a ULP (unfair labor practice) strike vote, if they don’t see good faith bargaining at the table on Thursday. It passed overwhelmingly with more than 100 CAT Team members voting yes.
Today members delivered stacks of petitions with 3,000 signatures to management at about 25 sites throughout the County.

We must stand strong, together, and everyone must participate:

  • If you are not a member, join the Union. We must send a message of unity and strength to the County.
  • Participate in unity breaks and worksite actions every Thursday. If you don’t know the plan for your worksite, contact your steward or worksite organizer.
  • For a complete list of information about bargaining and more details go to seiu221.org

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SEIU Local 221 endorses Nathan Fletcher for Board of Supervisors

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“The current members of the Board of Supervisors prioritize hoarding cash reserves and voting themselves a raise over investing in San Diego families and in our communities.  For this district, we can’t afford to elect a rubber stamp vote for the status quo. We need a strong voice and a champion in challenging the rest of the Board to finally invest in supporting county employees and providing the services that our seniors, our children and our vulnerable neighbors need.  Nathan Fletcher has the experience, commitment and values to be that strong voice and we are proud to endorse him.”  – David Garcias, President, SEIU 221

 

SEIU Local 221, which represents over 10,000 county employees, is a diverse, member-driven organization working in many occupations to make our counties a safe and healthy place to live, work, and raise our families. We represent public sector employees in San Diego and Imperial counties who work for county, local city governments and school districts, as well as Head Start. We nurse our sick, educate our children, care for our seniors and provide a host of other important services throughout our communities.

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“Cool Summer Days” dress-code update

The County continues to violate your rights and break the law.  In addition to not bargaining in good faith, including regressively bargaining about wages and benefits, the County has been illegally harassing employees, refusing to provide essential information and refusing to bargain about changes at the workplace.
 
Now they’re doing it with the issue of the dress code.
Because the County wrote and implemented its illegal dress-code change so unclearly there are many reports in the field that managers are still trying to implement it.
 
Our advice is to comply with your managers’ request under protest, but to let your SEIU Local 221 steward and worksite organizer know about the situation as soon as you can afterward. We have created a letter to give to your manager if this happens to you. To print out a copy, click here.
 
To recap the situation, in June the County made an illegal change to the dress code called “Cool Summer Days 2017.” The County denied SEIU Local 221’s request to meet about the change, so SEIU Local 221 filed an Unfair Labor Practice about this change. The County responded with a memo that was both unclear and illegal, which seemed to backtrack from their illegal change and the Union declared victory. However, because of the memo’s ambiguity, some managers are still trying to enforce the illegal dress-code change. This is all just another case of the County trying to punish its members for having the audacity to want to bargain a fair contract.
 
 
This is an attempt by the County to divide the employees. Don’t fall for their distractions. Join your bargaining team at the CAT meeting next week.
 
CAT meeting
6-8 pm Tuesday July 18
Marina Village – Anchor Room
1936 Quivira Way, San Diego
 
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Everyone needed on July 18

 
Tracey Carter

Everyone needed on July 18

By TRACEY CARTER
SEIU LOCAL 221 COUNTY CHAPTER PRESIDENT

The County is trying to intimidate us — again. It has put more misleading posts about filing an Unfair Labor Charges against SEIU Local 221 on the intranet. When will it learn that this kind of bullying is not going to work? It should have learned after Strike School on June 24. Everyone there was willing to do whatever it took to make the County quit trying to play this bullying game and start bargaining in good faith. Unfortunately, the County has put out so much misinformation that people are confused. The best way to get the most up-to-date information is to come to the next Campaign Action Team meeting.

CAT meeting
6-8 pm Tuesday, July 18
Marina Village – Anchor Room
1936 Quivira Way, San Diego

  • In the meantime you can get accurate information about our charges against the County here: seiu221.seiu.org/ulp
  • Have questions about a possible strike? Get answers here: seiu221.org/strikeFAQs
  • Want to see the County’s proposals and our position? See it here: seiu221.seiu.org/proposals
  • We continue to push management to bargain in good faith and we must all keep pushing them. Have you and all your coworkers filed out petitions? Go to seiu221.seiu.org/petition to add your voice.

We must stand strong, together, and everyone must participate:

  • If you are not a member, join the Union. We must send a message of unity and strength to the County.
  • Participate in unity breaks and worksite actions every Thursday. If you don’t know the plan for your worksite contact your steward or worksite organizer.
  • For a complete list of information about bargaining and more details go to seiu221.org

Print out this update and hang it at your work area now

1707CampaignUpdate

 

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Illegal change to “Cool Summer Days” dress code

On July 11, the County sent out a misleading memo that attempted to blame SEIU Local 221 for a dress-code change. SEIU Local 221 has filed several Unfair Labor Practice charges against the County. Many of these were caused by the County attempting to change long-standing practices without giving County employees and SEIU Local 221 members prior notice or an opportunity for input.

One specific example is the change the County tried to make in June to the “Cool Summer Days” dress-code policy, making it more restrictive. County employees should be able to wear comfortable clothing during the summer as they have in the past.  On June 20, 2017, the County imposed a restrictive dress code policy that it called the “Cool Summer Days 2017” program.  Starting June 20, 2017, the County required employees to wear “appropriate business casual attire,” which the County said meant “[c]asual clothing, such as jeans (including colored jeans) and sneakers of any kind.” Starting June 20, 2017, the County prohibited employees from wearing to work “flip flops or other unsafe shoes, shorts, tank tops, tights, beach or athletic wear and torn or revealing clothing.”

SEIU Local 221 members challenged the County’s restrictive dress code by filing an unfair practice charge at the Public Employment Relations Board, because County employees should be able to wear comfortable clothing during the summer as they have in the past, such as flip flops, shorts, tank tops, tights, beach or athletic wear.

By promptly filing an Unfair Labor Practice charge, we have been able to restore your freedom to wear weather-appropriate clothes during these hot summer months.

The County realized that it violated California law when it tried to narrow the dress code on “Cool Summer Days” without giving prior notice or an opportunity for SEIU Local 221 to respond. It sent out a second memo rescinding its changes to the summer dress code. If you were allowed to wear it before during the summer, you can wear it now.

The County is still trying to bully us instead of working with us, making dress-code changes without consulting us and not bargaining in good faith. Are you sick of all these games that the County is playing? Come to the next Campaign Action Team meeting so we can make the County Invest in San Diego Families and treat its employees with respect.

CAT meeting

6 pm Tuesday July 18

1936 Quivira Way, San Diego

Have you signed the petition to tell the County it must do better? Sign it here and print out a signature sheet for your worksite.

 

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