“SEIU members love the work we do for our community, whether it’s providing social services, health care services or other work for our residents. We want to continue to work for San Mateo County, but we need management and the Board of Supervisors to work with us to find solutions to address issues of fair wages, staff retention, and bullying. The county works because we, frontline workers, do. When we have good jobs that allow us to care for and support our families, our community thrives.”
– Lupe Gutierrez, San Mateo County Chapter Chair
“I am fighting for a fair contract because we need a living wage so that we can keep and recruit talented, caring workers who are passionate about serving the residents of San Mateo County.”
– Eileen Browning, San Mateo County Bargaining Team Member
SEIU 521 member Rocio Astoquilca speaks about the struggles San Mateo County frontline workers face due to the high cost of housing. Watch and share the video.
We are asking the board of supervisors to support us and help us reach a fair contract. Let’s invest in our San Mateo County workers – for our families and our community. Together, we make the county work!
- The job section of San Mateo County website states: “Regardless of your role or where you work, you can make a difference. You will have a great opportunity of impacting the future and improving the lives and wellbeing of San Mateo County residents.” This is true, and we are all proud of our work for the county. After all the county work because WE DO. However, how can we not look at the wellbeing of our own employees as well?
- Again, in the job section of the county’s website, management states that “employees are our greatest assets.” We ask you to make a real difference in the lives of your own employees.
- As frontline workers, we provide critical services to the most vulnerable populations and the residents of San Mateo County. We work across several service areas including IT services, social work, medical, mental health, adult and aging services, correctional health, public health services and much more. Again, we are the backbone of this county.
- In San Mateo County, the cost of housing is 86% higher than the national average.
- In San Mateo County, the cost of housing is 200% higher than the national average. You would need to make at least $326K per year to afford a median priced home. The house prices also affect rents. Housing costs take a large portion of our paychecks and we struggle to make ends meet.
(Source: “You need to make six figures to afford the median house in this Sacramento-area county,” The Sacramento Bee – May 17, 2018)
- Due to the high costs of housing, a majority of us commute from other counties, spending hours on the road and in traffic. This is unsustainable for our workforce; it affects our health and impacts our ability to provide efficient and quality services.
- Meanwhile preferential payouts are being paid to managers bumping up their six-figure salaries even higher while the rest of us are left struggling. Since 2014, lump sum payouts to management positions have steadily increased while employees providing front line services are left enduring longer working hours, stagnant wages, and short staffing that impact our ability to provide services. According to San Mateo County reports to the State of California, over 50% of the total lump sum payouts have been to management employees since 2014.
(Source: State Controller Government Compensation data 2014 – 2017)
- We currently have 577 vacancies in the County of San Mateo. It is hard to be able to recruit and retain staff in our County when we are seeing a 19% county-wide turnover of staff. In 2017 alone, 383 workers were terminated; of those, 188 were involuntarily.