We represent approximately 130 workers at 4Cs.
April 5 & April 9, 2018
The results of the audit reinforce what 4Cs employees, child care providers, and parents have been saying for years. Continue reading…
March 28, 2018
Nonprofit Officials Accused of Harassing, Silencing Parents
By San Jose Inside
The federal Office of Early Head Start is investigating claims of harassment at the Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County.
January 24, 2018
Child Care Nonprofit Allegedly Mismanaged Employee Pensions
By San Jose Inside
The 4C Council child care nonprofit is under fire once again—this time for allegedly cheating employees out of retirement benefits.
August 21, 2017
20-year award-winning employee fired for speaking the truth
Despite 20 years of exemplary service, Mario Del Castillo has been fired after he spoke up publicly against the suspected mismanagement at 4Cs. Without a union contract, workers are at their boss’ mercy. We need to show that we stand together against bullying, intimidation, and retaliation.
Read more in our latest newsletter: http://521.seiu.org/4cs082117
Fred leaving after 45 years. What’s in store for 4Cs Now?
At a quickly-called all-staff meeting on August 16, 4Cs Board Chair Ben Menor announced that Fred Villaseñor is retiring after almost 45 years of running the agency. In his goodbye announcement, Fred, a founding father of 4Cs, acknowledged that he will be staying on for a while as a paid consultant to help the Interim Executive Director. Though this retirement was unexpected, observers believe that amid the negative news articles, complaints from parents, providers, and 4Cs staff, as well as the embarrassing emergency closures of four 4Cs centers for gross violations of state health and safety provisions, the Board was left with no options but to have a new official face and proclaim a fresh start for 4Cs. There is particular concern that the results of audits by Federal, State, and County agencies, expected to be announced in the next month or two, may expose major financial, legal or procedural troubles.
Read more on page 3 of our latest newsletter: http://521.seiu.org/4cs082117
June 28, 2017
Parents & Providers Call for State Audit of 4Cs at JLAC
Child care workers, parents and employees of the Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County, Inc. (4Cs) attended a Joint Committee on Legislative Audit (JLAC) hearing on June 28 demanding a state audit of 4Cs. Senator Jim Beall requested the hearing and reminded JLAC members that 4Cs has a history of alleged mismanagement, including overspending, inadequate staffing, failure to pay child care providers, several health and safety violations and the closure of three child care development programs in the last 18 months. At the time of the hearing, 4Cs had already been subject to four audits, including one from the California Department of Education (CDE).
“This audit is long overdue. No parent should have to go through the experience I went through,” said Valentina Renales, a parent that receives subsidies. “Lost payments, inaccurate reporting of my income and family size, and unresolved billing issues. This audit needs to happen.”
Shazia Sarwat, a San Jose child care provider, spoke about her experience with 4Cs, noting that many providers are harassed and threatened:
“Even when we have legitimate issues, 4Cs has threatened to take away the children under our care and has been unwilling to cooperate on issues of reimbursements. This organization needs to be investigated.”
As a result of the stories from parents and providers, and the support of the community, JLAC voted to move forward with a state audit, making this the 5th audit of 4Cs.
Watch the video recording here or on Facebook:
Sign up for email/text updates to stay informed!
For text updates only, sign up from your cell phone by texting 4C to 787753
By providing my phone number, I understand that SEIU and its locals and affiliates may use automated calling technologies and/or text message me on my cellular phone on a periodic basis. SEIU will never charge for text message alerts. Carrier message and data rates may apply to such alerts. Text STOP to 787753 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 787753 for more information.
April 27, 2017
What’s happening to Mario now?
Mario is off work, with pay, while management is supposedly investigating his files looking for proof he falsified records. Everyone who knows Mario knows that he would never do something like that! After 20 years of exemplary work, he is being investigated because he had the guts to stand up for the parents, the providers and his co-workers by speaking at the Board of Supervisors, serving as a union negotiator, and defending himself against previous groundless accusations. We have filed charges at the NLRB and followed up by making sure the Board of Supervisors knows that, contrary to their warnings against retaliation for anyone speaking up at their meetings, 4Cs management has done just that. Stay tuned, and continue to support him and the union.
Update on center closures and CDE investigations
When CDE found many dangerous health and safety violations in the 4Cs Child Care Centers, Fred Villaseñor – rather than trying to fix the violations caused by excessive turnover, untrained subs, and absentee management – abandoned them. SEIU has been working hard to help find a place for our staff to land.
People ask, why would Fred relinquish the centers? Some speculate that he just didn’t have his heart in them anymore. Others believe that ridding himself of the very employees most cruelly affected by the pension debacle might help 4Cs in the pending settlement talks; or, could it be that he hoped giving up the Centers would encourage CDE to be more lenient on violations they are uncovering in the administrative and case management sections of 4Cs? Nobody really knows.
Read more about the CDE investigations and contract negotiations in our newsletter. (PDF)
April 19, 2017
Board hears truth about 4Cs
Because management has been spreading false rumors – scaring parents, providers, seniors and staff about closure of the senior nutrition program, and even the whole agency – union members took personal time off to set the record straight. Local 521 wants these programs to survive and thrive. We stand together with the Board of Supervisors and the entire child care community to bring about the improvements needed. We demand honest and open communications, high quality, timely services for providers, parents, and children, fiscal responsibility and respect and justice for 4Cs childcare workers.
A recording of workers’ remarks can be seen at: www.facebook.com/SEIU521Region1/
Long-time 4Cs employee targeted
After 20 years of exemplary service to the parents and children of 4Cs, Mario Del Castillo has been targeted by 4Cs for allegedly falsifying case documents. While he will be paid during the Leave of Absence they imposed, managers refused to tell him the source of their suspicions, the cases that might be in question, or any other details.
April 7, 2017
BREAKING NEWS: 4Cs to close its centers
4Cs’ attorney has informed us that 4Cs has “relinquished the center contracts”. The California Department of Education (CDE) is right now looking for other providers to take over.
March 28, 2017
Closure Rumors: What’s REALLY going on here?
On Friday, March 24, several managers called their staffs into impromptu meetings suggesting they might want to start looking for work, because 4Cs would probably not be open beyond June 30, 2017. Other supervisors said it was “probably just a rumor”, but suggested that staff call their providers and urge them to go to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday to support 4Cs’s continuation. People have lots of questions about this. Here are some answers.
Download the Q&A sheet (PDF)
March 22, 2017
4Cs makes the news again… Placed under audit by the CDE!
Last week, a handful of attachés from the California Department of Education (CDE)—the nonprofit’s primary funder—walked into the 4Cs north San Jose headquarters to begin an in-depth audit.
To be continued!
February 7, 2017
Pension Update – Victory!
Your Union – SEIU Local 521 Pressures 4Cs to Pay Gloria Her Pension
Nearly six months after retiring from 4Cs, Gloria Peña will finally be getting her pension checks from the agency this month.
SEIU 521 had issued a demand for release of the pension payments owed to Gloria. The potentially unlawful pension hold‐up was also exposed in a Metro news article in January. The pressure seems to have worked in Gloria’s case, thanks to SEIU Local 521 members who are not afraid to stand up and call out 4Cs’ serious dysfunction and chronic mismanagement.
You have until Feb. 14th to fill out and email your pension paperwork to Mandy.Lu@seiu521.org.
January 25, 2017
San Jose Inside/Metro Exposes 4Cs Executive Management
For more than a year, our SEIU 521 Bargaining Team has demanded pension information from 4Cs that could have a direct impact on our retirement years. We continue to hold executive management accountable.
What can you do?
Share the Facebook post with your coworkers, friends and family members. We need to get the word out! Please use the hashtag #ReleaseHerPension.
January 10, 2017
Do you know what 4Cs owes you when you retire?
Come to union meeting on Thursday to get answers
For more than a year, our SEIU 521 Bargaining Team has doggedly demanded pension information from 4Cs that could have a direct impact on our retirement years.
After lots of dodging, the agency on Tuesday sent a memo advising employees that one retirement plan was being put “on hold” based on “legal advice.”
“No additional employees will be eligible to receive distributions from this plan upon retirement,” according to the January 10 memo from Human Resources.
What does this mean for you?
SEIU Local 521’s attorney will be meeting with union members Thursday, January 12 at 5:30 p.m. to address your questions and concerns about your retirement plans with 4Cs.
WHAT: Pension Q&A with Union Lawyer
WHEN: Thursday, January 12, 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: SEIU 521, 2302 Zanker Road, San Jose, 95131
RSVP/More information: Mandy.Lu@seiu521.org
December 13, 2016
Our Bargaining Team met with 4Cs’ representatives on Dec. 8 and it is very clear the employer has no intention of giving workers a decent and fair contract. Management came in without a counter proposal and verbally rejected every item we had proposed at the last bargaining session in November:
- NO to across-the-board wage increase for fairness
- NO to compensation during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays
Management wants to provide lesser benefits to our workers at the center and have workers pay half of their health premium if costs increased in the future. Management is also now claiming the Agency doesn’t have the money to invest in workers and services.
We are demanding Management open up their books and let us review their budget!
The fight has always been about accountability and transparency at this taxpayer-funded agency! We’ve uncovered serious questions about 4Cs’ management of workers’ retirement funds. Both parties have now hired attorneys who are experts in the field of pension law and are scheduled to meet this week. Stay tuned!
Hardship Fund for July Strikers
Dozens of SEIU Local 521 members went on a two-day strike in July to fight for a fair contract and respect at the workplace. Members of our community recognized the financial hardship that comes with striking and have raised $3,140 to support those 4Cs workers who lost income because they stood up for what is right!
If you participated in the strike on July 7 and July 8, 2016, you are eligible for money from the hardship fund. The Gofundme Committee, (Fernando Brion, Puthea Chea, Thuy Pham, Nicholas Puzar), may approve hardship funds toward a strike action for members who apply and were on strike for at least 1 full day. Funds will be divided equally among those who apply, not to exceed $100 per day. Any remaining funds will be donated to a local children’s hospital/disadvantaged school districts/Greater Opportunities. Funds will be paid to members via check or electronically (Paypal or Venmo).
To be eligible to receive funds, a member must submit an application, be signed in on the daily strike roster, and be pledged to be a full SEIU dues paying member.
You must fill out this form and submit by Friday, December 2:
You may also download and print a PDF version of the form to fill out by hand:
For more information, please contact: Mandy.Lu@seiu521.org
November 9, 2016
An Important Update about our 4Cs Retirement Plans
Dear fellow SEIU Brothers and Sisters:
We have alarming news to share, and we thought you should hear it from your elected SEIU 521 Bargaining Team: 4Cs management may be inaccurately crediting your years of service when it comes to calculating workers’ retirement benefits.
We’ve been asking for 4Cs’ retirement plan information for more than a year with limited success.
Here’s the timeline:
- AUGUST 2015: SEIU requests retirement plan information.
- FEBRUARY 2016: 4Cs shares summary plan description for one plan.
- AUGUST 2016: 4Cs reveals additional retirement plan members may be eligible for – a plan that is not even in the personnel handbook.
- SEPTEMBER 2016: Workers request information on individual retirement accounts. 4Cs’s response to those requests shows inaccurate calculations of some workers’ years of service.
What we need to do now is have every 4Cs worker fill out, print and sign a letter to officially request information about the three retirement plans available.
Download the letter:http://521.seiu.org/4Cspensionletter (PDF)
We need 4Cs Management to be a more accountable and responsible employer! Together, let’s win this.
Your SEIU 521 Bargaining Team
October 31, 2016
October 13, 2016
Metro continues to scrutinize 4Cs mismanagement
“For an agency in charge of $40 million a year in taxpayer money, the Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County has been awfully cagey. The 44-year-old nonprofit, helmed by Fred Villaseñor and dubbed the 4Cs Council for short, is tasked with providing subsidized childcare to poor families. But there’s concern about the agency’s financial stewardship and labor practices, which Metro highlighted in a report last month.”
Read the entire article: http://521.seiu.org/4CsMetro101216
October 11, 2016
How can you be a temporary 4Cs worker for 7 years?!
Right now 4Cs Management can keep you as a Temporary worker indefinitely! Some of us have been “Temps” for 2, 3, 4 and even 7 years. Paying you as a temp allows Management to get away with not providing you the benefits you deserve.
Temporary workers deserve full-time, permanent status with benefits! We’ve earned it.
September 27, 2016
Jimmy is gone. Hello, Allyson!
In the latest round of bargaining negotiations on Sept. 20 and 21, union-busting lawyer Jimmy Hendricks wasn’t at the table anymore. He’s been replaced with “Lawyer Number Five” – Allyson Hauck.
Surprisingly, we could communicate with her better, but we’ve been down this road before. It’s a new face with Fred’s same old anti-worker agenda and proof of that are more stalling tactics. Allyson set our next round of negotiations for the third week of October!
And their excuse for the delay?…
The negotiations team was told that HR is just too busy dealing with the unfair labor practices (ULPs) we’ve filed and with answering questions from the media and the government over the mismanagement at the agency.
“News flash Fred – STOP harassing us, that’s number one! And, number two: You’re running a mostly taxpayer funded agency, what did you think was going to happen?!”
– Thuy Pham, 4Cs Chapter Negotiations Team
No matter how many lawyers roll in or out, we’ll continue to fight for our first contract! We aren’t going anywhere!
September 14, 2016
News Article Exposes Dysfunctions at 4Cs
4Cs Chapter members scored a HUGE WIN in the press this week with an article published by Metro newspaper exposing dysfunctions and lack of transparency at their workplace – Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County.
Members of the 4Cs negotiations team helped shine the spotlight on 4Cs Management’s lack of accountability even as it’s responsible for over $40 million of taxpayer funds.
September 12, 2016
4Cs Management: Mean or Incompetent?
Last week, we filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) complaint with the Labor Relations Board over yet another of Management’s anti-worker actions.
Two of our co-workers, Vanny and Nick, had been on vacation when we held our July strike. When they heard the news of our strike (which was organized with just a day’s notice) they joined in to stand along the rest of us.
Vanny’s and Nick’s vacation time had been pre-approved by Management; but, upon seeing them at the strike, Management went ahead and decided to “unapprove” their request and not pay them.
Download the article to read what happened next! (PDF)
Negotiations Update — August 17, 2016
4Cs Anti-Union Lawyer says: SICK DAYS ARE FOR LIARS
In our latest bargaining negotiation meeting, 4Cs anti-worker lawyer James “Jimmy” Hendricks suggested that sick days are for liars who want an excuse to not go to work.
“I’ve never had a sick day in my life!” Jimmy told our negotiations team and went on to propose that workers who take one sick day should actually take TWO days!
Jimmy’s logic? So workers can run out of sick days faster!
We, 4Cs workers, are at the frontlines serving families and children every day. How dare 4Cs Management propose that we run out of sick days and come to work when we’re sick?
We’ll continue to work on making sure that your health and that of our clients COMES FIRST!
August 7, 2016
Join Our Informational Picket Line
We will hold an informational picket line in front of 4Cs headquarters indefinitely to pass out information about Management’s anti-worker and anti-community tactics to parents seeking services.
Since last summer, when we formed a union and joined SEIU Local 521, Management has:
- FAILED to bargain in good faith by using stalling tactics and abruptly leaving negotiation talks
- VIOLATED our workers’ rights by using harassment and intimidation at the workplace
- Hired a fourth ANTI-UNION LAWYER trained to deny workers their first contract
- FAILED our working families by cutting programs, refusing to hire more staff and lacking transparency
JOIN THE INFORMATIONAL PICKET LINE:
Mondays through Thursdays 1:15 to 2 p.m.
at 150 River Oaks Parkway in San Jose
Help us make 4Cs a stronger organization that puts workers and the community first!
For more information contact: Mandy.Lu@seiu521.org
Donate to the 4Cs Strike Fund: gofundme.com/4CsStrikeFund
Give Tom Torlakson A Ring
4Cs is a non-profit agency which this year received over $40 million in taxpayer funds to provide child care programs and services to families in the county. The agency, however, continues to fail families and taxpayers by cutting programs, mismanaging funds, and operating without transparency.
Call Superintendent Tom Torlakson and tell him: 4Cs needs stronger state oversight! Call 916-319-0800.
4Cs Management Can Do Better!
Twitter User? Tweet Torlakson!
July 27, 2016
Fred & Team Bail Again!
On our second day of an all-day scheduled bargaining session at our union hall, 4Cs “Super Lawyer” Jim Hendricks, his high-powered team, and HR Junior Generalist Tina Vermeulen abruptly left the building.
When our Chief Negotiator Kristy Sermersheim (SEIU Local 521 Chief Elected Officer) called Jim at 10:30 a.m. to ask where they had gone, he said they were on their way to the airport.
We requested the 4Cs Management/Legal team come back to bargain in good faith, but Jim said: “No, I’ll see you at the next bargaining date.”
It is clear: Fred and Jim NEVER intended to bargain in good faith!
Call Tom Torlakson, Superintendent of Public Instruction and acting Governor at 916-319-0800 to let him know Fred needs state oversight!
Read on for more information: http://521.seiu.org/4Cs72716 (PDF)
4Cs hires 4th union-busting lawyer
After 10 months of contract negotiations with only minor issues to resolve, 4Cs Executive Management hires its 4th anti-union legal team to bargain with workers.
Meet James Hendricks Jr., a “super-lawyer” who brags on his website that he “negotiated first contracts after certification most often resulting with no agreement or terms most favorable to clients,” and that “he is a frequent lecturer on maintaining a union-free environment.”
Read on: http://521.seiu.org/4Cslawyer (PDF)
Have you sent your petition to the Board of Directors?
Sign and share the petition now: www.seiu521.org/better
Our Two-Day Strike Is Over But the Fight Continues!
We walked back into work TOGETHER at 8:30 a.m. to show executive management that we are #UNITED! We will continue our fight for a fair contract that gives us the respect we deserve and puts kids first.
See photos and media coverage of our two-day strike action at facebook.com/SEIU521
Our Two-Day ULP Strike
Two weeks ago, our negotiations team and management mutually agreed to have our next negotiations meeting on Thursday, July 7.
Last Friday, management told us that they were postponing negotiations to the following week. Our negotiators’ response was an emphatic, “NO.” We are tired of management excuses for not meeting; we are tired of management stalling tactics and their disrespect. Enough is enough! We started a two-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike on Thursday.
We Can Do Better!
Executive Management continues to employ anti-worker practices and are denying us a contract that would bring us dignity and respect. We are asking for a voice at work so that we can keep providing quality services and put our community first.
Tell the board members to hold its chief executive accountable! www.seiu521.org/better
Or, call 4Cs Board of Directors:
Ben Menor, Chairperson, 408-420-8108
Clarence Madrilejos, Board Member, 408-251-2482
James McDaniel, Board Member, 408-299-1200
Maria Reyes, Board Member, 408-515-7365
Xiaoyan Xu, PR Officer, 408-480-0560
If you are calling, our message is:
“Executive Director Alfredo Villaseñor must be accountable to our community, treat 4Cs workers with respect and manage taxpayers’ dollars with more transparency!”
We are ready to strike!
On June 28, we voted to go on strike. We are committed to the families we serve at 4Cs, but Executive Management has lead us no other choice but to go on strike.
We are striking for workers’ dignity, respect and for a voice at work so that we can keep providing quality services and put our community first!
4Cs workers continue to fight for respect
4Cs Management attended the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on May 28 to criticize SEIU members who had come the week before to demand more accountability and transparency from 4Cs management team.
Management came on work time while our workers had to take time off. Is that fair? No!
Read excerpts from the meeting, along with our responses: http://521.seiu.org/4Cs061316
Unity Update – June 8, 2016
4Cs workers came out in force on Thursday, June 2, for their first unity break. Negotiations team members gave bargaining updates, and announced upcoming actions and activities.
Next Negotiations Dates:
Thursday, June 16
Wednesday, June 22
Negotiations Update – May 31, 2016
Workers’ Unity Builds Momentum for a Fair Contract
With the support from our negotiations team and county workers from last week’s action at the Children, Seniors, and Families Committee (CSFC) meeting, management heard us loud and clear that we wanted them to stop stalling and give us a contract now. With the support of members wearing stickers and posting flyers at the worksites every week, we continue to pressure management to give us a fair contract.
On Thursday, May 26, our negotiations team agreed on 34 contract items (80% of the contract), but we still have outstanding items to discuss:
- Union Security – union boards to update you at worksites, dues check off automatically deduct from paycheck, your organizer to have access to meet with members, new employee orientations
- Economics – annual wage increases
- Health Care – affordable healthcare for your families
- Grievance Process – the right to have union representation when in disciplinary process
What will it take to win a fair contract? Everyone’s participation in the actions!
Our Unity Actions for this week are:
- On Thursday, June 2 – Unity Break (10:15-10:30 a.m.) – WEAR PURPLE!
- Post the break signs at your desk when on break.
Next Negotiations Dates:
– Thursday, June 16
– Wednesday, June 22
Want to fight for our contract?
Become a CAT (Contract Action Team) member today! Read more on page 2 of the flyer.
Children, Seniors, and Families Committee Meeting
May 27, 2016
WHO’S LYING TO WHOM?
Management scrutinizes our 4Cs members for speaking in front of the committee the previous week.
Watch the video here.
Negotiations Update – May 23, 2016
Still a long way to go to win a fair contract
Our Negotiations Team met with management on May 18 and it is clear there’s still a lot of work before we can reach a fair first contract for workers.
– Clock in/out is still being negotiated. Remember: we do not need to clock in/out for our 15-minute breaks!
– Economics: We proposed our financial package of annual and step increases.
– Health Care: We will be proposing language that provides for more certainty on health care benefits.
What will it take to win a fair contract? Everyone’s participation in the actions!
Our Unity Actions for this week are:
– Post the break signs at your desk when on break
– On Friday, May 27 – Unity Break (10:15-10:30am)
Next Negotiations Dates:
– Thursday, May 26
– Thursday, June 16
– Wednesday, June 22
For more info, please contact: Mandy.Lu@seiu521.org
4Cs Workers Speak at BOS Committee – May 20, 2016
Our early learning educators, parents and supporters from SEIU 521 Santa Clara County Chapter talked to the Children, Seniors, and Families Committee of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on May 20.
We called for more accountability and transparency from 4Cs management.
Watch the video here.
Video start: 1:00
They reminded the committee that 4Cs workers are critical to working families as they allow parents to access quality child care so that they can go to work and know their children are well cared for.
It’s time we invest in the hard-working early educators who care for our children and enable parents to go to work. Investing in child care is an investment in our children and working families.
Negotiations Update – May 12, 2016
Negotiations moving in the right direction
On Thursday, May 12, our negotiations team was able to finalize some Tentative Agreements (TA’s) with management on previous proposals. However, the TA’s will not be in effect until we ratify our first contract.
– 40-hour work week
– Reducing using your personal time during Thanksgiving from 5 days to 2 days
– Management has finally agreed to review our economic proposals
Our Unity Actions for this week are:
– Post your Headphones flyer at your cube
– On Wednesday, May 18th – Sticker Action
Next Negotiations Dates:
– Wednesday, May 18 (6-8pm)
– Thursday, May 26 (6-8pm)
Negotiations Update – April 14, 2016
Our last negotiations on Friday, April 8, had to be cancelled due to management’s refusal to move negotiations to after work hours so that our elected bargaining team could attend. It is critical at this point we make it abundantly clear: we will NOT hold any bargaining sessions without the elected member bargaining team present. We are currently finalizing bargaining dates for next week the week of April 18 in order to make certain we keep the pressure on as we work toward a fair first contract.
Political Update/Wage and Hour Theft
Many local elected officials have stepped forward to offer their continued support of our 4C’s members and are willing to do more to help us win a fair contract. Local elected officials were shocked to learn that 4C’s was committing wage theft by forcing members to work through their legally mandated breaks and lunches. SEIU representatives will be visiting the worksites over the next two weeks to monitor this situation and note any violations.
Breaks and Headphones
There are links just below to two Cease and Desist letters which we have sent to 4C’s regarding their unilateral change in working conditions. It is illegal for 4C’s management to change an existing working condition without first negotiating with our Union and Elected Bargaining Team. If your manager is asking you to clock in and out or telling you that you can no longer use headphones, please show them a copy of these letters:
In order to put continued pressure on our employer to do the right thing and settle fair and reasonable contract, you will see copies of a strike petition in your area. You will also see SEIU representatives touring the worksites distributing these petitions to members. This petition is a first step in putting pressure on the employer to come to a deal, and we need everyone to participate in signing and distributing this petition. This petition is for the bargaining team’s use only and will not be shared with management. We want to give management every opportunity to avoid a strike; for this reason, we will be doing several escalating actions over the next 6 weeks to give them opportunities to treat their workers respectfully and appropriately. If you have any questions about this petition, please see one of your SEIU representatives for more information.
Nick Raisch, Regional Director for SEIU 521, and Roxanne Barnett, Internal Worksite Organizer for SEIU 521, will be conducting tours of all the worksites at 4C’s in order to update members during their breaks and lunches; they will also be checking to make sure there are no violations of labor or safety laws in any of the worksites. If you don’t see SEIU staff at your worksite, please contact us to let us know so that we can schedule a visit at a time when your group will be available.
Fight for $15 and a Union Rally
Today across the country, hundreds of thousands of Fast Food Workers went on strike to fight for $15 an hour wages and the right to form a union. At the largest local rally in Oakland, thousands marched in solidarity with these workers. Members of SEIU 521 from other chapters like the County of Santa Clara, VTA, and many of our city chapters took signs with them showing their support for the 4C’s campaign and our struggle for a fair contract. If you watch the local news tonight, check the coverage and see if you can see any of the great signs they made in support of us!
Negotiations Update – April 1, 2016
– Management has conceded to our Bargaining team that they will agree to a 40-hour work week guarantee for all employees going forward.
– Management is willing to agree to ongoing Labor Management meetings. Your elected leaders and management can meet over the course of our contract to address concerns of both management and our members as they come up.
– New proposed concept to address Christmas closure. Management would be willing to offer 1-3 days of additional work so that members can choose to utilize less vacation over this period of time.
– Guarantee to re-open the contract to specifically negotiate wages in May, to line up with the new fiscal year which starts July 1, 2016.
– Our next scheduled negotiations session with management is currently scheduled for Saturday, April 9. Your elected bargaining team needs your support now more than ever to work towards winning a fair contract for all our members!
In order to win a fair contract that shows respect for all employees of 4 C’s, our members will need to stand together against an executive management team who seem determined to stop us from moving forward and winning a fair deal.
Your Contract Action Team and Elected Bargaining Team are meeting again on April 6 to finalize our plan and next steps. In order to win a fair contract, we may need to be ready, willing and able to go on strike for several days. Your elected bargaining team will do everything in their power to avoid a strike, but they will need your help and support to do that.
You may be asked to do any or all of the following:
– Sign a strike petition showing your support. This petition would only be known to the bargaining team.
– Wear a strike sticker. This shows management we are all standing united for a fair contract, and that we want them to come to a fair deal with our elected negotiators so we can all avoid going on strike.
– Participate in an informational picket. This is NOT the same as a strike. This is a rallying event where we would hold picket signs outside of our different worksites and facilities, letting the community know that our employer is refusing to treat employees with dignity and respect.
– Show up and participate in a strike vote. This would be one of the final steps prior to actually calling a formal strike. Our union is built on democratic principles; therefore, before any huge action like a strike, the majority of members have to approve of such decisions.
Negotiations Update – Jan. 13, 2016
On Tuesday, Jan. 12, our Negotiations Team was at the bargaining table late into the night. Way to show your support by “stickering up”!
Here is the latest:
Management has Tentatively Agreed to some Proposals
We are moving forward! Management has tentatively agreed to several proposals. However, the proposals will not be in effect until we ratify our first union contract. To find out which proposals were tentatively agreed upon, contact the Bargaining Team or Roxanne Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dental Plans will be Reviewed
In the negotiations survey, members stated they favored the old Delta Dental plan over the current dental plan. Management has agreed to compare the costs of each. From this information we will propose to recover similar dental benefits.
Key Information Secured
We finally received key information including employees’ salaries, hire dates and medical benefits. The Negotiations Team will create proposals for wage increases, seniority policies and health care plan options. Our goal is to present a complete set of proposals at the next negotiations session.
Our next negotiations session is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28.
Negotiations Update – Jan. 10, 2016
Happy New Year! Together, let’s make this the year of our first union contract! Here is the latest:
Management still hiding key info
After five months of requests, and missing their Jan. 1 deadline, 4Cs Management still refuses to turn over information that is key to negotiations. The information includes employees’ salaries, hire dates and medical benefits. These are important to proposing wage increases, seniority policies and healthcare plans.
We are working with our legal department to stop Management’s delay tactics.
Negotiations on Tuesday
Our Negotiations Team will hit the bargaining table on Tuesday, Jan. 12. The goal is to get Management’s response to our comprehensive proposals submitted in November (Note: The document is a list of proposals. It is not a contract.), secure key information (above), and demand weekly negotiation sessions. See the comprehensive proposals here.
It’s our right to Sticker Up
Together, a small gesture can say alot. Wearing our union stickers shows the boss that we are united to win our first contract. Pick up your union stickers on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 7:30am in front of the 4Cs main office. There will be coffee and donuts. Wear the button all day to support our Negotiations Team as they hit the table in the evening.
It’s your legal right to wear a union sticker.
Know your rights as a union member in the workplace (PDF).
Our fight against the closure of Orchard Early Learning Center
Update Nov. 24, 2015: The Community Child Care Council (4Cs) Chapter was in the news today to fight the Nov. 30 closure of Orchard Early Learning Center infant and preschool programs, where 33 families who rely on the education and care they provide. The programs are scheduled to close on Nov. 30. Watch the ABC 7 news coverage here:
Know Your Rights in the Workplace!
As a union member fighting for your first contract, you have legal rights when faced with discipline by your employer. If you are being disciplined at work, you should know:
- The employer is required to notify your union before taking disciplinary action;
- The employer is required to bargain with the union before discipline is implemented;
- If the discipline is a warning (verbal or written) then the employer may bargain after implementation;
- If the employer does not follow the steps above, it may be subject to Unfair Labor Practice charges under the National Labor Relations Act.
There are very limited circumstances when these requirements do not apply, such as if an employee is a serious danger to health and safety at the worksite.
These rights were granted by the National Labor Relations Board in the case Alan Ritchey, Inc., 359 NLRB No. 40 (2012).
If you are being disciplined, report it to a Negotiating Team member.
Negotiations began on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. See who is representing you at the bargaining table! Meet Your Negotiations Team.
4Cs Ready for First Contract Fight
The staff at 4Cs provide vital resources, guidance, and childcare for low-income parents so they work and reach self-sufficiency. 4Cs is gearing up for its first contract negotiations.
When we stand together, we win.
View the road map to winning our first contract (PDF)
Congratulations and welcome to the Local 521 family!