December 23, 2020

Our advocacy forces Sheriff to abandon outsourcing plan

After months of media coverage, caravans, petitions, calls and socially distanced protests, our advocacy has forced the Sheriff to abandon the reckless plan to outsource detention staff. The members on the frontlines in the Sheriff’s Department have shown us how to build real union power. This successful campaign, involving thousands of union members taking collective action, reminds us that when we fight, we win.

We will need this same energy, member-leadership and participation next year as we start contract negotiations. When Black, Brown, Asian American Pacific Islander and White workers unite it shows we are truly stronger together. While stopping this process prevents additional threats to lives and public health, the fight is not over.
We are calling on the Sheriff to listen to his constituents and begin to work collaboratively with other departments to create a restorative model of care under Health and Human Services.

The COVID-19 pandemic makes threats like these more dangerous than ever. The only way to stop them is to grow union membership. Sign up a nonunion member, to grow our power and show management we are standing strong. You can sign a membership card online by following this link.

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Union heroes are all around – 2020 revealed them to us

Thanks to all of you, my union family. Wishing you the very best holiday season in these challenging times.

All our contributions are important, whether we are wearing a mask, having socially distanced celebrations or sacrificing and directly helping those who are sick or in need.

The COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, inequality and climate change combined to challenge us this year in ways that we have never seen before. It wasn’t self-important managers and executives that answered that challenge. It was us. Some of us are on the frontlines and in healthcare settings. Some of us are working in new jobs as governments and organizations took extraordinary measures to face these crises. Some of us volunteered to ensure accessible, peaceful and democratic elections. Some of us are doing little-seen but important work to make sure the vital services that help the neediest residents continue.

This year has challenged us in many ways and is still challenging us. It undoubtedly has changed everyone’s thinking about what we value, about connections to family and friends, about the roles we play at work, at home, in our communities. The most valuable gifts I received this year are that change in perspective and the love shown by working people who have continued to do their jobs, who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice.

Together we have worked to honor that sacrifice and make our work as safe as possible. We have won new PPE and OSHA protections and an equity study. We have fought for hazard pay and fought against short-sighted outsourcing plans. After more than a decade of work, we have gained more powerful allies, including Supervisors Elect Terra Lawson-Remer and Nora Vargas, who will join Nathan Fletcher as a pro-working family majority on the San Diego Board of Supervisors.

We remember those we have lost and the sacrifices made by so many. We cannot return to the blind spots of the previous years, but must lead and follow those who do unglamourous jobs with courage and leadership, who speak out and guide us to a better, more just, more equitable, more inclusive future.

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In Solidarity,

David Garcias
SEIU Local 221 President

P.S. – Sign up a nonunion member, to grow our power and show management we are standing strong. You can sign a membership card online by following this link.

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