County Bargaining 2013

County Bonus Clarification

Congratulations again on the contract victory that ensured wage increases and a stronger voice for all county employees. There have been many questions about the 2% stipend that did not appear in the first paycheck of November. The first stipend payment will appear on the November 22nd paycheck, and then on the first paycheck of each month for the next five months after. Here is the explanation from the county:

The second reading of the SEIU Agreements (the Board adoption date) occurred on October 8, 2013.  The MOA language states, “This one-time monetary payment shall be paid beginning with the first pay period following completion of two pay periods after adoption by the Board of Supervisors…The 2% one-time payment shall be paid out in 6 payments, to be paid with the first payday of each month.” Two pay periods following BOS adoption (PP10: October 18-October 31 and PP11: November 1-November 14) would make the first payment due with the paycheck for pay period ending on November 14th, which will be paid on November 22nd.  The payments thereafter are the first pay period of the month.  As such, the second payment will be due on December 6th.

This means, you will see the first payment of the stipend on November 22nd, and then you will get the second payment on the very next paycheck on December 6th.

We are having a series of workplace meetings with a full update on the contract and discussion on how to continue to strengthen our Union. Please come to your next meeting or contact Michaella Millican with any questions.

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County Bargaining Team BBQ!

Bargaining Team

You are invited to a celebration BBQ for the County Chapter Bargaining Team. These members spent many months fighting to get a fair contract. Now we would like to show our appreciation for their hard work. Bring your family to the park and join us in the celebration! Food and drink provided.

Saturday, November 2nd
12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Mission Bay Park*
RSVP to 858-560-0151.

*We will be at Playa Pacifica Park, San Diego, CA. North of the Hilton Hotel. Look for the purple signs.

Mission Bay Park

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County Contract Ratified 10.8.13


Bargaining Team

On October 8, 2013, the County Administration Center (CAC) shook from the triumphant cheers of SEIU 221 members in the audience watching on as the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the agreement between SEIU and the County of San Diego.

Afterward the Bargaining Team and Rank and File Members met on Tower 6 of the CAC and signed the new Memorandum of Agreement. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard together to achieve this Victory. United, We Are Stronger!

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Bargaining Update 9.24.13


Last week SEIU members voted 86% YES to ratify the Tentative Agreement!  This year’s ratification was the largest turnout in years.  The bargaining team is confident that members agree that progress was made towards the membership’s goals.

The SEIU membership continues to grow every month because employees know that if we do not organize around our common goals, work together towards a more productive relationship with our employer, and make progress for ourselves as a working middle-class, no one will.

Together we are stronger and we encourage all County employees to join SEIU so that we can be an even more effective Union.  This is our Union!

Ultimately, a union is a group of people who wield power when they are committed to take action to reach their goals.  Signing a membership card is the first step, being actively aware and engaged is step two, and staying united when the going gets tough is step three.  This year a large percentage of the membership was willing to go the distance to win a fair contract.  The membership, activists, and worksite leaders are more committed than ever!  What 2013 taught us is an activist based Union is more effective than the service based model of unionism of the past.

To each and every one of you who wore purple, took a unity break, marched through the streets, came to a meeting, made a phone call, or encouraged a friend to join the Union…WE DID IT!

Next Steps

 – 10/8 Board of Supervisors Meeting at 9 a.m.

(1600 Pacific Highway)  Members are encouraged to attend!  Board scheduled to vote on the TA.

– 10/26 General Membership Meeting at 10 a.m.

(Al Bahr Shriners – 5440 Kearny Mesa Road)

– 11/9 County Chapter Leadership Summit

(Location TBD)  Stewards/worksite activists encouraged to attend.  Learn new contract language and the plan to win the the years to come!

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County Tentative Agreement Ratified!

Bargaining Team

Congratulations SEIU Local 221 County of San Diego employees on the Ratification of your Tentative Agreement.

The ballots were counted September 21st and the overwhelming majority of the County Chapter voted YES to ratify the agreement, 86% of the votes cast were YES votes.

You all worked hard and made the difference in your campaign to “Put People First” in San Diego and while we made progress towards each of our goals we still have forward movement to make. Your participation, stewardship, and activity in the workplace and the community must continue.


We Recommend a YES Vote!

On September 10th, the SEIU Local 221 Negotiating Committee reached a tentative agreement on new contracts for each bargaining unit. After seven months of negotiations and campaigning at worksites across the County, we are confident in saying this contract represents a step in the right direction and Puts People First. The Negotiating Committee is overwhelmingly recommending a YES vote on the new contracts.

The agreement makes progress toward the goals that the Union members set prior to the start of negotiations:

1. Fair wages for all employees

– Bonuses and wage increases for ALL SEIU represented employees

2. Affordable healthcare for County workers and our families

– County will contribute hundreds more each year to employees healthcare

3. A stronger voice for County workers

– Improvements in Labor Management and the Grievance Procedure

You made the difference! We won this contract because workers participated in worksite meetings, unity breaks, marches, rallies, signed petitions, and purple Wednesdays. We won because we showed that we would not be invisible or silent and we were prepared to engage in the kind of job actions to show our determination and unity.

There is one step left in the process – the Ratification Vote! All SEIU represented employees should review the Tentative Agreement Summary  and the Equity Adjustment Job Code List and all members in good standing are expected to participate in the ratification process the week of September 16th. Please see the Ratification Vote Meeting Schedule and identify which time and location will work best for you. Each hour long vote session will include an agreement overview, question and answer session, and time to cast your vote. (Large sites with coverage issues, please use this Sign-Up Sheet and turn in your sign-in sheet to management so they can arrange break and lunch times to accommodate the voting schedule.) 

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Bargaining Update 8.29.13

County-Bargaining-ButtonThe Union Negotiating Committee met again this Wednesday for the third round of talks with the mediator.  After several months of hard work, the committee saw a positive move in the right direction.  County management, once again, indicated a willingness to sit across the table and work together.

Kathy Griffe Photo“For seven months we have been at the bargaining table attempting to negotiate an agreement with the County, and for seven months there was very little movement or progress.  During this time, SEIU members in San Diego County took action, stood together, made our voices heard and now the process is working.”  – Kathy Griffee, Public Health Nurse Supervisor

From the beginning of this process, the Negotiating Committee has reiterated their commitment to some common goals, all of which they are still hard at work to reach.

– Fair wage increases so we can support our families

– Affordable, quality healthcare for our families and ourselves

– Opportunities for fair promotions and transfers

– Our jobs should balance work and family

– Real voice for County employees

Pat Maldonado Photo“I joined the Bargaining Team because I felt that people weren’t being given what they deserve, and I even heard my co-workers losing faith in the Union.  I discovered now that through unity and the process of collective bargaining that we can stand strong together and build an even more powerful Union.”  – Pat Maldonado, Probation Aide

Why the sudden change in tone and this step in the right direction?  SEIU members have shown an unwillingness to remain silent, they have taken action in the worksites to build and grow our Union, and to support our Negotiating Committee through the process.  Members all across the County made a commitment to stay informed, stay active, and most importantly stay committed to this process!

Karen Hockensmith Photo“We are moving in the right direction, meet us at the Board of Supervisors on September 10th!”  – Karen Hockensmith, Social Services Supervisor


County Board of Supervisors Meeting

Tuesday, September 10th

8:30 a.m.

1600 Pacific Highway, 92101

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Bargaining Update 8.22.13


Our Union Negotiating Committee returned to the bargaining table with the County on Wednesday in our second post-impasse mediation. Fortunately, this meeting was positive and showed real signs of a positive outcome for County workers. County management showed a willingness to work together on several issues that are key to our negotiating committee, signaling a constructive environment for our negotiating process. However, our work is far from done, and our unity and commitment will continue.

We will return to mediation next Wednesday and continue to work together with the County to reach an agreement that offers workers the best possible outcome.

County workers continue to unite and communicate throughout the worksites, keeping in mind that until we have an agreement, we are committed to standing strong alongside our co-workers.

Here’s what you can do to join:

– Sign the petition that supports our negotiating committee’s hard work and effort, showing solidarity and unity in each worksite.

– Attend worksite meetings to get the latest news and updates about this process.

– Talk to your co-workers to make sure every County employee knows that SEIU members all across San Diego County are standing strong with their negotiating committee.

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Bargaining Update 8.15.13



Our Union Negotiating Committee returned to the bargaining table with the County on Wednesday in our first post-impasse mediation. We showed our willingness to find common ground and narrow the differences between us. We signed off on seven management proposals that we agreed to last month.  These proposals include a modest improvement in the boot allowance and slightly stronger safety language.

We signaled through the mediator our willingness to consider a 3-year contract with real wage increases and benefit improvements that get better in the 2nd and 3rd year.

Additionally, we sent the signal that we are ready to make progress towards a fair contract that respects workers while also addressing legitimate concerns raised by management, but the County management did not reciprocate.

The County management continues to disrespect and dismiss workers concerns. They showed no sign of significant movement to restrict involuntary transfers, improve overtime pay, get paid the higher rate when we work out of title, or protect our right to representation under the grievance procedure.

We will return to mediation next wednesday and continue to press the County management to change their tune and find areas of common ground so we can narrow the issues that divide us.  Bargaining is not a one-way street.

County workers will not agree to an unfair contract nor will we go away quietly.

It is time for every worker to take action!

  • Sign the petition that says you support the Negotiating Committee’s unanimous decision to reject the County’s proposals.

  • Commit to your co-workers that they can count on you to take whatever legally protected job action is necessary to win a fair contract.

  • Attend worksite meetings and make your voice heard.

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Bargaining Update 7.24.13


Impasse Reached – ‘A Tale of Two San Diegos’

We reached impasse on Wednesday, July 24, with the County in our contract negotiations. This means the proposals will be presented to a 3-person fact-finding panel that will hear the arguments and evidence. Then they will issue a public report that will be the subject of a public hearing in front of the Board of Supervisors.

Why did we reach impasse? Our Union and the County each put its last, best offer on the table (the full proposals are available here). The difference could not be more stark – truly ‘A Tale of Two San Diegos.’ One in which workers are respected, public services are important, and attempts are made to solve problems. The other based on bullying, threats, and fear with no interest in respecting workers or solving problems.

The management proposal borrows from its old songbook: ‘Either accept what we’re offering or we’ll make it worse.’ This may fly in the management meetings, but it will be seen as dishonest bullying by the fact-finding panel.

Here are some important differences:

Bargaining Issues SEIU Local 221 San Diego County
Bonuses vs. Raises Guaranteed base-wage increase over a 2-year contract for each worker between 4.5% to 7%. No base-wage increase for the vast majority. Only a 2% 1-time bonus each year which will average $950 before taxes. This is a wage freeze.
Equity Adjustments Guaranteed equity raises for certain job titles. Equity raises for the same job titles, but only if we cave-in and agree to the County’s contract.
Wage Scale & Steps In 2014, either keep current steps with a 2% raise or double the steps at 2.5% with guaranteed 5% each year for those on the steps and an extra 2.5% for all employees topped out. Double the steps and cut them to 2.5% with no raises if we don’t cave-in and agree to the County’s contract.
Flex Benefits Increase Flex above the County proposal by an extra $20 per pay period for individual, $40 per pay period for employee+1 and family. In 2014, increase Flex by 5%. In 2015, increase Flex by 5% for individual, 7% for employee+1, and 9% for family.
Insurance Reduce employee costs by $20 per prescription for diabetes, depression, asthma, and cardiovascular conditions. Reject, but will refer to a committee for study.
Employee Pension Offset In 2013, reduce by 1.5% for Tier A & B in AE, MM, PR, PS, RN, and SS. Offset by 1.5% wage increase for all employees. In 2014, reduce by 1.5% for all Tier A & B, offset by 1.5% wage increase for all employees. In 2013, reduce by 1/3 for all Tier A & B with modest increase in pay to partially offset (as low as 12 cents per hour).
Worker Rights Increased worker rights in the following areas: Promotions, transfers, workload, Union representation, and in disciplinary matters. None.

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Bargaining Update 6.12.13

Management has finally agreed to use mediation as a means to reach an agreement and avoid going to impasse.  This is a positive development but mediation is like marriage counseling – it only works if both sides are willing…and we are!

Where are we now?

Major Issues at the Bargaining Table San Diego County

9,500+ SEIU represented County workers

Wages & Pension Offset No raises Small one-time, taxable bonus each yearEliminate up to 1.5% of the remaining employee offset and increase pay by up to 1.3%

Eliminating the $1000 for 30+ years of service

Wage increases every yearfor every worker Additional wage increases equal to every percent lost since 2011 

Eliminate the entire employee offset (7%)

Flex Benefits No Parity Annual amount of benefits:Year 1: Employee only $5,304, Employee +1 $7,896, Family $11,328


Year 2: Employee only $5,568, Employee +1 $8,448, Family $12,348

No improved prescription coverage 

No cash out for flex benefits

PARITY with executive management Annual amount of benefits:Year 1: Employee only $6,691, Employee +1 $9,526, Family $13,104

Year 2: Employee only $7,025, Employee +1 $10,192, Family $14,283

Reduce Co-Pays for prescriptions for diabetes, depression, cardio -vascular, asthma by $20 each

Unused flex benefits can be cashed out by those who do not use them

Transfers & Promotions No changes to the way promotions are awarded County will seek volunteers first on temporary transfers  Internal applicants should be considered before external applicants for promotions – and seniority is the tie-breaker Transfers should be awarded to volunteers first and if no volunteers then seniorityTransfers have a 6-month limit

There are no restrictions on applying to other jobs

Workload & Staffing(HHS) No proposals… Keep up the hard work. Enough staff to provide the highest quality of service to the community Enforceable maximum caseload per employee Floaters and backfill

 The County has made their choice – NOW it’s time for you to make yours. 

SEIU members County-wide are ready to fight for and win a fair contract for all County Employees and Better Services for our community.  We have done more with less, we are willing to pay our fair share, we are advocates for our clients, and we are ready to stand up and fight for what is right for us, our families, and our community!

Wage increase for every employee every year!

Staffing standards matter everyday!

Healthcare is not an executive perk!

No more tax breaks for the the wealthiest 1%!

Solidarity Rally & March

Saturday,  June 22nd


Harvey Milk/Normal St. (Near Hillcrest DMV, 92103)

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