City of Salinas Bargaining Updates

**UPDATE: The City of Salinas bargaining team stayed at the negotiations table for nearly 12 hours today (Wednesday, April5), but reached a tentative agreement with the City at 9:15pm! We will announce the details of the TA tomorrow via email, and voting will take place early next week. Check back tomorrow for further updates, and thank you to everyone for your hard work and commitment!! Unite, Fight, WIN Together!

Join the City of Salinas Facebook group. *Admission restricted to City of Salinas workers.

Tentative Agreement Summaries and Vote Schedule

On Wednesday, April 5, your bargaining team reached a tentative agreement (TA) with the City for all three SEIU units: SMEA, Blue Collar and Crew Supervisors.

Together, you all fought to get this historic agreement: from sending our email message to the councilmembers, to lobbying your elected officials, and finally our last big rally and civil disobedience at City Hall on Tuesday April 4th, where we had about 100 of you in attendance ready to fight for what you deserve. This agreement is a reflection of our collective strength and unity to win for working families in Salinas.

City of Salinas - April 4

Click below to view the TA summaries for each unit

Crew Supervisors
Blue Collar

The voting times and locations are as follows

Monday April, 10 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
SEIU Local 521, 334 Monterey Street in Salinas

Tuesday, April 11 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
SEIU Local 521, 334 Monterey Street in Salinas

Tuesday, April 11 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Salinas Brickhouse, 66 West Alisal Street in Salinas

We will tally the votes at 5:35pm on Tuesday.

Only full dues paying members can vote on a union contract, you can sign up to be a member at the voting location on the day of, or online at

You must be present to vote, no proxy voting!

On the last day of voting, we will have appetizers at the Salinas Brickhouse, if you know you’re coming to vote that day at the Salinas Brickhouse, please rsvp to so we can have an accurate headcount for food.

In Unity,

Your bargaining team members:  Kristy Parker, Randy Casey, Daniela DeBaca, Ray Lerma, Victor Baez, Ramon Herrera, Ron Patterson, Ray Montemayor, and Ulises Carrango

Contract Ratification Vote Schedule

Attention City of Salinas workers, please view our voting schedule for the Tentative Agreement (TA):

Monday April, 10
8:00am – 4:30pm
SEIU Local 521
334 Monterey St
Salinas, CA 93901

Tuesday, April 11
SEIU Local 521
334 Monterey St
Salinas, CA 93901

Tuesday, April 11
3:00pm – 5:30pm
Salinas Brickhouse
66 West Alisal Street
Salinas, CA 93901

We will tally the votes at 5:35pm on Tuesday.

Only full dues paying members can vote on a union contract, you can sign up to be a member at the voting location on the day of, or online at

You must be present to vote, no proxy voting!


salinas blog

Strike Vote: TOMORROW, Tuesday, April 4

We are 3 months past our contract expiration date and we still don’t have an agreement that values and prioritizes City workers.

Over the past 6 months, your bargaining team has been hard at work trying to reach an agreement with the City. While the City has made some progress on their proposals, including a 2.5% Cost of Living (COLA) increase each year for the next 3 years and a $1000 one time ratification bonus, the City is sticking to their healthcare proposal: effective December 2019 City workers begin paying 4% of their healthcare costs. We still don’t have an adequate solution to our concerns regarding bilingual compensation, transparency in the transfer and work locations process, basic safety issues, and other differentials which would help us recruit and retain qualified City workers.

At the March 29 negotiations, the City negotiator gave and then retracted a “final” offer. The City continues to delay, delay, delay and we will NOT work without a contract for much longer.

The City has heard us at their council meetings. They have read your emails. They have seen us on the streets. City workers understand what is at stake in this contract, but does the City Council and City Management? The City Manager, as the one responsible for overseeing labor relations, has failed City workers. Your bargaining team has no confidence that City Manager Ray Corpuz will provide the leadership needed to get us to an agreement before a potential strike.

The time has come for ALL Blue Collar, Crew Supervisors, and SMEA union members to make some difficult choices.

Join us on Tuesday, April 4 in front of the City Council starting at 3:30 pm, for two important votes:

1. A vote of NO CONFIDENCE on City Manager Ray Corpuz

2. A Strike Authorization Vote to authorize your bargaining team to call for a strike if no agreement is reached at the next bargaining session on April 5.

NOTE: Voting will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. You must be present to vote, no proxy voting. Only full dues paying members may vote on a strike, you can become a member on the day of the vote.

Beginning at 4:00 p.m. we will address the Council one more time. This is it. The time has come for all of you to decide if you’re ready to stand together and fight for the basic respect, dignity, and equality that we all deserve at our work. We ARE stronger together. There is POWER in our UNITY.

Bargaining Update for March 15

City Members Send Clear Message:  CONTRACT NOW!

City of Salinas - March 15

As SEIU 521 members rallied outside City Hall at noon on Wednesday, March 15, our bargaining team presented a comprehensive proposal for all three units, countering the City’s proposal from February 24 and March 13.

Even though the Assistant City Manager closed the front doors to shut out the noise, workers made every voice heard: IT’S TIME FOR A CONTRACT NOW!!!!


Will Strike If Provoked!

City of Salinas Strike LogoWe are reaching 90 days without an agreement and workers will not continue bargaining beyond April 5 – we either reach an agreement or we reach impasse.

Even though we offered to meet with dates next week and before March 29, the city hired negotiator stated she is not available.  It is apparent that the city has NO PROBLEM WASTING TAXPAYER MONEY with delays in bargaining and continued payment for her services.


And We Fight On…

Since the City Manager and Assistant City Manager have no problem with stall tactics, we must let the City Council know that vital public services will be at risk if we do not reach an agreement.

Here is what you must to do keep the fight on:

  1. Complete a Strike Assessment Card. Contact your Contract Action Team Member or stop by the Union Hall to drop it off to assess where members are at if we do not get an agreement
  1. Send an email to the City Council to let them know its up to them to settle our contract since management is wasting time and resources! Click here to compose your email.
  1. Attend the City Council Meeting on March 21 at 4:00 p.m. where we will once again be there to share the importance of our work to our community. Tell us we can count you and your coworkers’ attendance. RSVP at

Stand Up & Fight Back!

Bargaining Update for March 8

And still…… NOTHING!

After 2 weeks since our last meeting, the city’s chief negotiator once again came unprepared without a counter, which they stated would be provided at this meeting, so that we could start work on a comprehensive counter proposal.  Instead, the city asked clarification on our proposal – which could have easily been requested of us by email as they have done in the past.  Delay tactics continue.


We will return to the bargaining table on Wednesday, March 15, with the hope that the city will provide us with a counter first thing in the morning.  We are committing, as we always have, to come back the same day with a counter, in the hopes of either reaching an agreement, but impasse is looking more likely with every meeting.  Our team has offered up more meeting dates after March 15 and are willing to bargain longer hours in order to reach an agreement. We will have to wait and see if the city can work it into their schedule.


In order to asses where members are at with a contract that continues to be stalled by the city, we must assess if members are willing to strike in the event of not reaching an agreement.

Have you signed your card? See your Contract Action Team member, bargaining team member or stop by the union office to sign your card or drop them off.  Members are already stating that if no agreement is reached, we must send a clear message – we will NOT be disregarded and disrespected anymore.


We are now two months past our contract expiration yet the city still refuses to do right by its workers and give us a fair contract now! It’s time for us to crank up the pressure and show the city that we’re UNITED and ready to FIGHT for a fair contract that gives city workers the respect and dignity we deserve.

Join us at the following actions:

Unity Break at Salinas City Hall
Wednesday, March 15 from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Rally at Salinas City Hall
Tuesday, March 21 at 4:00 p.m.

Contract NOW! Rally
Wednesday, March 29 at 5:00 p.m.
Meet at SEIU Local 521 Office, 334 Monterey Street

Bargaining Update for February 24

Today’s bargaining session resulted in a set of tentative agreements on specifc contract language.

The City also countered with more rejections of our proposals, with only 4 counters total, for the SMEA, Blue Collar and Supervisory Unit.

Rejected by the City

After 2 weeks, the City still refuses to acknowledge and respect the valuable services we provide on a daily basis; meanwhile they sit in their offices with high-priced vacation cash-outs and lucrative stipends. 5 top executive managers alone have cashed out over half a million in the past 5 years, including during the recession when we were all supposed to be taking cuts!

View a list of management wages and cashouts!

While management reaps the benefits of our hard work, we continue to struggle. NO MORE!

The City continues to ignore proposals that protect our workers and the communities we serve:

• Library safety issues
• Police department safety concerns and work schedule matters
• Animal Services’ potential re-organization concerns
• Workers’ basic rights
• Due Process
• Public Works safety issues and certification recognition

The City’s message is clear – if we want change, WE have to FIGHT. It’s up to us now.


The REAL Heroes – We are Salinas

While the City is still recovering from the storms that have caused havoc in parts of Salians, our SEIU 521 members have been tirelessly clearing debris off the roads, waterways, storm drains and keeping our streets safe for pedestrians and automobiles to get through.

ALL while working with equipment that is either unsafe or outdated, putting both our workers and community in jeopardy.

It’s time we take back our City and demand the respect and dignity that we have earned through our tireless efforts over the past 8 years. It’s time to stand up and fight back!!

Action at City Hall – Time to Turn Up the Heat!

Join us at City Hall to demand a contract that recognizes the valuable services that Salinas City workers provide.

When: Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 5:00 p.m.
Where: 200 Lincoln Avenue in Salinas

We will be joined by labor allies supporting our work.

Attend the action with your friends and family and show the City Council that we are UNITED!

Are you getting our texts?

In an effort to improve our communications strategy for this contract campaign, we’re trying out new tools, like the Salinas members-only facebook group. If you want to stay informed and receive text message reminders on your phone, text 521SALINAS to 787753. We’ll send you occasional reminders for important events.


Bargaining Update – Feb. 1

Worker UNITY results in movement at the table!

We spoke, and City Council listened. Thanks to members’ show of unity at the recent City Council meeting, we saw movement from the City’s bargaining team at the February 1 negotiations session. 

As City workers we are underpaid and overworked. For the last 8 years, we have not been treated with respect OR dignity, and the vital services we provide for our community have not been valued. But the City finally heard us, and has proposed a 3 year agreement with NO CHANGE to health insurance. (See City’s proposal here for SMEA, Blue Collar and Supervisory unit).

 However, the City’s wage proposal remains the same (2.5% each year for 3 years), and they refuse to bargain over issues that impact our ability to provide quality services in our Libraries, Police Department and other City-wide services. There’s more work to be done – we need to continue fighting for respect and dignity, for safety training, bilingual certification and more. Now more than ever we must remain UNITED to reach an agreement that serves the needs of our Salinas community.

On February 1, our bargaining team made a counter proposal to lift members’ quality of life, (just like the management perks that have been prioritized over working families for the past decade.) Click here to view the SEIU proposals.

Our bargaining team will return to the table next Wednesday, February 8; we expect the City to counter and hopefully agree to some of our proposals.


Join our private, worker-led City of Salinas Facebook group:

Encourage your co-workers to sign up for email and text updates:

Become a member to be a powerful force for working families in Salinas:

Bargaining Update – Jan. 11

City Council Members Ready For Impasse?

Our last bargaining session was held before the holidays, and our contract with the City of Salinas has now expired. We resumed negotiations on January 11; our team expected to sign off on some of the agreements made last month, but that did not occur. Instead, we were met with defiance.

Since the City bargaining team likes to distort what happens at the bargaining table to the City Council, we had our Union brother from IAFF Steve Furtado in attendance to observe. Par for the course, we received from the City team only one counter proposal.  Nothing else. According to their Chief Spokesperson, the City Council is not willing to move further and there is no other proposal on the table – we are not sure if we are at an impasse or not.

It is clear the City is not interested in reaching an agreement, so we must now UNITE to FIGHT together so that we can WIN.  We need to be prepared, especially if we do not reach an agreement. Please continue to set aside your monies in the event of a strike.

Get Involved!

Attend one these important bargaining meetings where we will talk about specific next steps that only YOU can help us achieve.

Member Meeting
Friday, Jan. 13 from 11:00 a.m. to noon
Salinas Animal Shelter, 144 Hitchcock Road

Coffee Table
Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.
Salinas Police Department, 222 Lincoln Avenue

Donuts Table
Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Salinas Police Department, 222 Lincoln Avenue

General Membership Meeting
Monday, Jan. 30 at 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 pm.
SEIU Local 521 Office, 334 Monterey Street

What Did You Lose During the Concession Years?

City Management still chooses to protect their cash outs while SEIU 521 members have vital proposals rejected at the bargaining table. While our bargaining team saw movement from the City at the December 15 bargaining session, important proposals like differentials and language improvements are rejected entirely.

Last week, the City Manager & City attorney received a wage increase of 2.5% which is reasonable, but what the public does not see is the their ability to cash out hundreds of hours of pay to add to their compensation.  SEIU 521 members do not enjoy this perk.

Management’s cash outs in 4 years were $4.9 million.  That is equivalent to over 20% in wage increases that SEIU 521 members could have shared in the City of Salinas.


Its time to speak up as ONE VOICE and share with the Council, how the concessions impacted you and your family over the last 8 years and how the City Council should rein in the lucrative benefit that costs millions in tax payer dollars.  Send your GRINCHmas Greeting to the City council and Mayor starting December 16 by visiting our website and following the instructions.


Bargaining Update – Dec. 8

In this message: Shameful Management Perks & Our End-Of-Year Push

City of Salinas Council Meeting - 2 City of Salinas Council Meeting - 1At Tuesday’s City Council meeting,  SEIU Local 521 members from the Blue Collar, Crew Supes and SMEA unit asked our City Council to show leadership. Your co-workers asked our elected officials why they have given the City bargaining team directions to push further concessions on workers, and why they’ve ignored a number of our proposals. The City’s bargaining team has consistently stated that there are financial limits to what the City can afford. In other words, they claim to not have the money to invest in our workforce.


  • Between 2009 and 2016, a typical SEIU member in the SMEA unit lost approximately $48k dollars due to concessions and furloughs.
  • Between 2009 and 2015, a combination of concession and CPI growth eroded the purchasing power of SEIU member by 22%
  • From 2011 to 2014, management cashed out over $4.9 million in leave and other perks. The Assistance City Manager cashed out $168,000 and received over $10,000 in overtime pay.
  • In 2015, City increased funding in public safety & general Govt., yet spent 9% less in public works.
  • In 2015 we reached the lowest level of staffing with 119 employees in our units – a 36% reduction in staff compared to 2008.


Our bargaining team returns to the table on December 15; we hope City responds to our comprehensive proposal, but realistically, we do not expect to reach an agreement by the time our contract expires on December 31.

The City will drag this process out and wait for members to lose interest – It’s time to turn up the heat.

Come to the General Membership meeting and Holiday Celebration for City of Salinas!!!

WHEN: Thursday December 15, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
WHERE: SEIU Local 521 Union Hall, 334 Monterey Street, Salinas

*Please RSVP to

On the agenda:

1) Bargaining update
2) Action item to management – we need your help
3) Next steps

Bargaining Update – Dec. 1 

In this message:  City’s smoke & mirrors approach to bargaining, and what we’re gonna do about it!

After 2 weeks since our last bargaining session, the city finally came to the table with somewhat of a comprehensive proposal, although ignoring many unit specific articles that deal with Blue Collar, Crew Supervisors and SMEA unit proposals. During this round of negotiations, the city made only minor language changes and REJECTED everything else, making no changes to their last wage and healthcare proposal. Go here to view the City’s proposal:

Our bargaining team stood firm with our economic and language proposals, which focus on safety for employees, improved job-training, transparency and accountability to our community and the services we provide.

Who’s the Grinch Now?

The City claims not to be able to afford more than a 5% raise over 3 years. It is also proposing to erode these modest increases by making employees pay for health insurance.

The City’s offer is not enough to help our employees make up the tens of thousands of wages lost due to 8 years of furloughs and delayed salary increases. Additionally, it is not enough to mitigate rising cost of living. Under the City’s proposal, the FY 2017 purchasing power of the typical SEIU worker will still be an estimated 13% below pre-recession levels.

As our workforce has sacrificed to support the City’s recovery and struggled to make ends meet, management staff have padded their incomes with thousands of dollars in annual cashouts. In some cases, this has resulted in effective wage increases of over 20%.

Management Cashouts
Meanwhile, SEIU 521 members in the City had ZERO ability to cash out or supplement lost wages with furloughs and reduction of hours during the most difficult years
of the recession.

Where is the accountability to our community and the front line staff that provide services directly to our residents?

Speak Up for Bilingual Services!

The population of the City of Salinas is 70% Latino. That’s 112,000 people.

So why doesn’t the City Council value bilingual services in our multicultural community?

Please join us as we come together to speak up for bilingual services. Currently, the City of Salinas has many SEIU Local 521 members on a long waiting list to test for their bilingual certification, and only a small handful of workers are being fairly compensated for their valuable skill set. It’s time for the City to respect, value and prioritize bilingual services.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 4:00 p.m.
Where: 200 Lincoln Avenue in Salinas

Join community leaders, teachers and parents in speaking up for bilingual services for our Salinas Community!

Bargaining Update – Oct. 26

This week’s negotiations resulted in more proposals and a Tentative Agreement reached on three sections, for all units.

Our bargaining team also presented a new section for all units that would provide a path to permanency for temporary employees.

The majority of the negotiation session revolved around the meet and confer process required for proposed changes to employee Vision, Dental, LTD/Life Insurance and EAP.

Here is a quick summary of the information discussed:

DENTAL – 2 year rate guarantee agreement with Delta Dental  which would include a $50 deductible (currently $25).  Would provide enhanced benefits by including 50% coverage toward implants and 90% coverage on basic services in the PPO network (currently 80%). The City compared dental physician offices currently utilized by employees and the same offices are contracted with Delta Dental.

VISION – 4 year rate guarantee that includes a $10 exam fee plus $25 material fee (currently $25) and provides enhanced benefits including $130 allowance for contact lenses or frames and lower out of pocket costs to employees, including larger network that includes Costco. Work safety glasses provided in the MOU will continue to be provided, separate from this benefit.

LTD/Life – 3 year rate guarantee that mirrors current plan design but rates increased by 12% Life and 16% LTD

EAP – Continue with current carrier, Concern with an 8.5% rate increase.

Upon our agreement and once approved by the City Council, the City will schedule information meetings with the carriers for employees to ask more detailed questions about the services provided.

Our next negotiations session will be on November 9, wherein the City has stated they will provide an initial economic proposal for our review.


General Membership Meeting

When:  Tuesday, Oct. 25 (2 sessions, 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.)
Where:  SEIU Local 521 Union Hall, 334 Monterey St. in Salinas

Please RSVP at

Bargaining Update – Oct. 13

United For Salinas – SEIU 521 members begin contract negotiations after 8 years

Our bargaining team has been meeting every Wednesday since mid-September; as of October 12th, the team has presented almost all of our contract proposals for the Blue Collar, Supes, and SMEA unit, with the exception of wages and term proposals. Both negotiating parties have until November 1st to put all proposals out.

It is clear from the City’s negotiation team, which consists of Donna Williams, attorney with an outside law firm, Katherine Hogan, Senior Deputy City Attorney and Sylvia Enriquez, that the City’s main priorities are:

  • Healthcare
  • How the deficit will impact our successor negotiations

The City provided their first counter proposal yesterday, which is just the beginning. Our bargaining team will provide them with a counter prosoal in 2 weeks, when we go back to the table.

Compensation Study

At the most recent negotiation session, Marina Horta-Gallegos from HR presented an overview of the comp study that has been released, and described how this is “just a data point for market reference only and not to be used in these negotiations.”  Our bargaining team pointed out to the City that their study is flawed; classifications are not appropriately matched with a comparable class, and some comparable cities do not come near our actual cost of living so the study itself is not factual.  We also requested a copy of the entire study since every study completed by any consultant, if competent, will include a narrative explaining how the study was completed, including any mitigating factors and the selection process behind the interviews.

The City at this point cannot release the study – they said they must inquire if able to do so and will let us know soon.

SEIU 521 members would like transparency now.

IT’S UP TO US  – to win a fair contract!

If we are to win in these negotiations with the City, we must UNITE together to ensure we are supporting the bargaining team and showing we are in solidarity together to lift up our families.

Sign up for the Contract Action Team (CAT)
As a CAT, you’ll make sure every member at your worksite knows what is going on at the bargaining table – when we need to turn out for a rally, sign a petition, or purple up. City of Salinas – CAT Form (PDF)

Become a Member of your union.  Employers always look at Union Membership count when they decide how much to give or withhold from members at the table.  If our membership is weak, our bargaining power is weak. You know the saying: UNITED WE BARGAIN – DIVIDED WE BEG. Sign up to become a full member at

Stay Informed!
Sign up for email updates:
Like us on Facebook:

Questions? Contact your Internal Organizers:
Mark Weircik –
Alenis Leon –

City of Salinas B Team

Bargaining Update Flyers

City of Salinas – Bargaining Update – 10.03.16 (PDF)
City of Salinas – Bargaining Update – 09.09.16 (PDF)

Sign up for the Contract Action Team (CAT)
As a CAT, you’ll make sure every member at your worksite knows what is going on at the bargaining table – when we need to turn out for a rally, sign a petition, or purple up. City of Salinas – CAT Form (PDF)

United for Salinas


Comments are closed.