The State Worker

After threatened strike, SEIU Local 1000 votes for a new contract

SEIU Local 1000, state government’s largest union, announced on Thursday that its members had approved a new 42-month contract.
SEIU Local 1000, state government’s largest union, announced on Thursday that its members had approved a new 42-month contract. Sacramento Bee file, 2014

A month after calling off a threatened strike, state government’s largest union announced on Thursday that its members had approved a new 42-month contract that will get its members a $2,500 bonus and a cumulative raise of 11.5 percent.

SEIU Local 1000 reported in a video it posted to its website that 90 percent of the people who voted favored the contract. It did not disclose the number of votes that were cast.

The agreement next must be ratified by the Legislature before the roughly 96,000 workers that the union represents will receive their bonus checks.

SEIU members in November voted to strike amid a bargaining stalemate between the union and Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration.

Brown had offered the union a package of raises over four years totaling 11.84 percent that would be offset by new, rising contributions for retiree health care.

The union’s final agreement delayed the start of the retiree health care contributions by a year, shortened the contract and added the bonus.

It also includes dozens of special salary adjustments that raise wages by an additional 2.5 percent to 15 percent for about 20,000 state workers.

The high approval margin masks some of the drama that led up to the vote. In August, a dissident group of SEIU members unsuccessfully sought to recall its leadership.

More recently, the union’s internal critics loudly campaigned for their peers to reject the agreement.

SEIU Local 1000 represents a broad spectrum of state workers, from custodians with an average wage of $33,000 a year to registered nurses earning an average of $97,000. It also covers government analysts, auditors, information technology employees and other workers.

Adam Ashton: 916-321-1063, @Adam_Ashton. Sign up for state worker news alerts at sacbee.com/newsletters.

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