Salud Para La Gente: Contract Ratified

Salud Para La Gente workers on Aug. 10 and 11 voted to ratify their contract and beat back an attempt to institute an unfair salary system.

Highlights:

1.The current agreement reached with the Agency provides for a wage reopener in fiscal year 2012.
2.We will review financials starting in October, 2011.
3.The new contract allows rank-and-file leaders more access to new hires, more ability to represent members at disciplinary meetings, and more labor management meetings to resolve issues quicker with Human Resources staff.

During negotiations the Agency came in with a list of takeaways, including major economic proposals that would have resulted in huge out-of-pocket expenses for workers. These were:

1.Total conversion of all employees in the bargaining unit to the Paid Time Off (PTO) system.
2.20% employee contribution to their health insurance premium.
3.No cost-of-living (COLA) increases or salary steps for fiscal year 2011 – 2012.
4.Instituting a salary system based on employee performance known as merit pay.

Compromises were reached in three of four issues. Members also mobilized to express their concerns over merit pay when the Agency included this proposal in their last, best and final offer. Despite assurances from management our union bargaining team rejected the proposal and made a plan to fight back.

Negotiating team members and about 30 workers converged at the July 25 Salud Para La Gente Board of Directors meeting. Workers described how such a salary system would fail at the Agency due to disparate treatment and favoritism by supervisors toward employees. Elected officials were involved in outreaching to the Agency and the proposal on merit pay was withdrawn.

Voting on the contract was held at four different meetings at the clinics, senior center and the union hall.

Many thanks to our negotiating committee: Laura Cuadros, Cindy DelosSantos, Maura Guzman, Pilar Hernandez, Nick Sandoval and Carol Zapata for their commitment and hard work in this long and arduous process!

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– Visit your chapter web page frequently: http://www.seiu521.org/splg

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