A new year: new challenges and new hope

A new year brings new hope, but the work is not done.

As we move forward, we remember those we have lost and the sacrifices we all continue to make. Arrogant managers and executives called us essential. We must make sure that this was not empty political theater.

We hope the new year reverses some of the pandemic’s impacts on us, our families, our communities and our workplaces. But even if this happens quickly, we must resolve to stand together with one voice and tell our employers: Respect Us. Protect Us. Pay Us.

Black, Brown, Asian Pacific Islander, Indigenous and White working families must remind them that, this year frontline workers led the way. It was not overpaid, self-important managers doing the vital work to keep our region and our world functioning.

This year we will negotiate new contracts and prepare for new fights. We will have to remind leaders about hazard pay and equity adjustments they promised, and how hard we had to fight for the basic protections we need to protect ourselves and our families while doing our jobs, including PPE and OSHA safeguards.

I have no doubt that we will meet and overcome these and many unforeseen challenges. Even in the final weeks of 2020, we stood together on the frontlines and forced the San Diego Sheriff’s Department to abandon its reckless and shortsighted outsourcing plan. Now we must resolve to continue the fight to force the Sheriff to create a restorative model of care under Health and Human Services. Our union family’s defeat of the outsourcing plan is a victory for all of us and better supports our communities, allows us to protect and improve the vital services we provide and defeat future ill-considered outsourcing schemes.

The struggles of the past year prove that we are a resilient union. As we move forward, we will not forget what we endured, and we will build on the strength and leadership we showed to build better communities, better jobs and a better world.

Have a safe new year.

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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