Collective bargaining behind the scenes

May 15, 2013

By Katy Grimes

Government employees’ salaries and benefits, and in particular, pensions, are financially unsustainable in California. It is clear that collective bargaining reform is needed. But in a state run by politicians elected largely with the financial support of labor and public employee unions, reform is a dirty word.

SEIU wish list

SEIU negotiations are apparently going swimmingly.  I follow the Service Employees International Union 1000 demands and negotiations closely. The memo below is from the April 15 update:

Local 1000’s bargaining team has concluded its first week of negotiations, presenting a total of 29 proposals, including an across-the-board pay increase for all represented employees. The proposed increase includes a $2,500 bonus in 2013 and a 7 percent salary increase in 2014 and 9 percent in 2015.
The 29 proposals build upon our previously hard-fought contract wins by strengthening employee rights and benefits, providing additional compensation and improving our medical coverage.
“We’ve never made such an aggressive start to bargaining. The state now knows that we mean serious business,” said Margarita Maldonado, vice president for bargaining.  “Now our focus will turn toward negotiating for individual bargaining units. As bargaining progresses, we will need our members behind us the entire way.”
Highlights of the Local 1000 proposals passed today include:
*Proposes an across-the-board increase in compensation for all represented employees
* Adds anti-bullying provisions and mandates that the state provide anti-bullying trainings
* Supports legislation that would create a supervisory to staff ratio
* Strengthens language regarding compensation for call back times
* Makes the dignity clause in our contract grievable
* Defines when a workday starts and ends in twenty-four hour worksites like the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, state hospitals and developmental centers
Highlights from proposals presented earlier this week include:
* No new furloughs or mandated PLP for the term of the new contract
* Changes in the vacation/leave article that ensures employees can more reliably use earned time off, and adds options for employees to liquidate accumulated time into cash, retirement, or health care accounts
* Simplifies the language in the sick leave article regarding the need for verification and restricts the information necessary when verification is required
* Standardizes language in the bereavement leave article for more universal application to our members

I want, I need, I want, I want

Salary increases, no furloughs, extra pay for being called bak to work, better vacation benefits… and they’ll probably get it too.

Read all of the negotiating updates HERE

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