We represent nearly 276 workers at the County of San Benito.
New San Benito County COPE Committee Forming!
- Help elect pro-worker candidates to the San Benito County Board of Supervisors, Hollister City Council, SBC Water District— these are the people who ultimately play a role in determining what type of compensation and benefits their County or City is willing to negotiate and offer to employees.
- Help pass tax measures that can generate more revenue so that we have the ability to negotiate improvements to compensation and staffing (a recent example – our union used COPE funds to support Measure W in Hollister).
- Educate and get out the union vote to defeat anti-worker initiatives such as when anti-pension statewide propositions are placed on the ballot that would eliminate or reduce pension benefits.
Tentative Agreement Ratified!
Our Tentative Agreement with the County was ratified on Oct. 4, 2017 with an 82% “yes” vote and an incredible voter turnout by members (you!). The Board will ratify our contract at their Oct. 24th meeting.
As you may recall, a few weeks prior to our Tentative Agreement, the County had proposed only offering a 2.75% raise each year for 2 years—and nothing else. Following that, our members packed the County Board of Supervisors meeting, spoke out at their meeting, emailed Supervisors, and rallied outside with more of our members than we have ever seen in our history as a union.
As a result of all the actions everyone took as a united union, your bargaining team was able to reach an agreement with the County at the end our last bargaining session yesterday. This is what it looks like:
Tentative Agreement Reached on our Economic Proposals:
Wages: total of 7% over 2 years
- 3.5% raise effective October 2017
- 0.5% raise effective April 2018
- 3.0% raise effective October 2018
- $1,200 signing bonus effective October 2017
- $1,000 signing bonus effective October 2018
Holiday Closures (employees get last week of December off):
- December 2017: Holiday closures on December 26, 27, 28, 29
- December 2018: Holiday closures on December 26, 27, 28
G-Step for all:
- G-Step (a 5% increase) will now be restored for all employees. (Employees hired after 10/1/14 weren’t eligible for G-step—this will now be reversed)
A few points to make:
- This agreement means we will see a total of 7% in raises over 2 years (compared to Monterey County, which got a total of 7% in raises over 3 years).
- Workers will have gained a total of 4% in raises within the first 6 months.
- G-Step is a 5% wage increase that will ultimately benefit 140 employees and counting.
- We value this entire economic package at 12.5% over two years (wages = 7%, $1,200 = 1.5%, $1000 = 1.3%, holiday closures = 2.7%)
- In the last six years, the wages in this agreement is more than anyone’s seen.
We feel that this is a definite step forward for our membership. It represents that the Board heard our united voices, and we would not have anything close to this agreement without everyone’s collective work put into this. This agreement shows what happens when we are UNITED AND STRONGER THAN EVER!
September 20 Bargaining Update
August 17 Bargaining Update
Today was a good day for Bargaining. We exchanged our counter proposal on economics with the County and ended up having a lively conversation on retirement. This was really the first back and forth conversation that both sides had since Bargaining began. With about six weeks to go until our contract expires the Bargaining Team is working really hard on how the County can provide economic increases to our members.
In turn, the members have shown their support for the Bargaining Team by purpling up on Tuesdays, asking great questions of the Bargaining Team during Chapter Meetings and rallying together at lunch time. All this activity and support is producing direct changes in our favor at the Bargaining Table.
Make your voices heard again this August 22nd at the Board of Supervisors meeting and lunchtime rally outside of the Board chambers. Show to the Board that you are united in fighting for a good contract!
Your Bargaining Team
Click here to read our August 17 amended and counter-proposals.
Copies of all proposals, counter-proposals and tentative agreements (TA’s) can be viewed here.
August 10 Bargaining Update
When we met with the County last Thursday, August 10, they came back with their opening proposal on wages & benefits: they are rejecting ALL of our economic proposals that are not wages, and they are proposing a two-year contract with the following wages:
County’s Opening Proposal on Wages:
Article 8.1 General Salary Increases
- Effective the first full pay period after Union ratification and BOS approval of the successor MOU on the Board’s regular agenda each salary range in this unit shall be increased by 1.0%
- Effective the first full pay period six months after the increase is conferred in 8.1.a above each salary range in this unit shall be increased by 1.0%
- Effective the first full pay period in October 20218, each salary range in this unit shall be increased by 1.0%
- Effective the first full pay period in July 2019, each salary range in this unit shall be increased by 1.0%
See the proposal here: http://www.seiu521.org/files/2017/08/2017-08-10-SBC-County-Proposal.pdf
When you factor in that the County is proposing that employees pay 1% more into their pension, and that employees will be on the hook for further healthcare increases, this proposal is really not much a proposal at all, and it is a slap in the face to our county employees who have invested so much of our lives and work here!
Second, the County “costed out” what our proposals would cost, and they badly inflated the numbers, pretending that we had a workforce of 326 employees (we have around 270 and 50 vacancies that will never be filled). They incorrectly added up their totals, coming up with the ridiculous number that our proposals would cost the County $14,296,022! We rejected their estimates and told them to come back to us when they have some real numbers to share.
See the County’s ridiculous estimates of our proposals here: http://www.seiu521.org/files/2017/08/2017-08-10-SBC-County-Costing-Union-Proposals.pdf
Copies of all proposals, counter-proposals and tentative agreements (TA’s) can be viewed here.
Save the Date: August 14 Chapter Meeting
**Please Note: Our monthly chapter meeting will not be held during lunch at Strawhat!
Where: SB County Library Conference Room
When: Monday, August 14 at 5:15pm
July 31 Bargaining Update
The County offered a 401k proposal but did not address the wage disparity between frontline staff and top-paid managers. Click here to read more.
July 24 Bargaining Update
Thanks to everyone who attended the July 25 Unity Rally! Click here to read about our latest negotiations updates from July 20 and 24.
Our contract campaign is underway!
Want a meeting at your worksite? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
“United We Bargain; Divided We Beg.” Show Your Support.
July 11 Bargaining Update: Contract Negotiations Have Started!
As we move forward with negotiating our next union contract, it is the intent of the bargaining team to provide updates of every bargaining session we hold with the county within a day or two. Updates will include a summary of what was discussed, and we will provide links to scanned copies of any proposals that either the Union or the County proposes at the bargaining table.
The bargaining team met with the County on Tuesday, July 11. At this bargaining session, the focus was on receiving a budget presentation from the County. No bargaining proposals from either side were exchanged. Read more.
A union is only as strong as its members, and we cannot win a strong contract for our members without your involvement.
Support your bargaining team today by becoming a member: www.seiu521.org/membership
Become a Contract Action Team member:
Our goal is to have in each department and worksite someone who can help us give the latest updates to their coworkers and who can tell them when we need them to show their support. If that sounds like you, complete the following form and contact email@example.com to let us know you’re ready to help us win at the bargaining table! Sign up now to join the Contract Action Team (CAT)
It is essential for management and the county Board of Supervisors to see that in every department and in every worksite we are UNITED AND STRONGER THAN EVER in our commitment to WIN for our county employees and our community.
Show your support by wearing purple and/or SEIU gear every Tuesday!
Join our private facebook group for San Benito County workers so you can stay up to date on our contract negotiations.
- Sign up now to join the Contract Action Team (CAT)
- Get updates in your inbox and/or by text.
Get contract negotiation updates and other important info by signing up here: 521.seiu.org/sbcsms
Note: Please make sure you provide your personal email address.
For updates by text only: Text BETTERSANBENITO to 787753.
- Like us on Facebook. Updates, photos and videos into your feed: facebook.com/seiu521region2
Our county is struggling to retain workers, who are taking jobs in neighboring jurisdictions because SB County wages are not enough to make ends meet. Despite this, Board Chair Jaime De La Cruz state that it is important to increase Ray’s salary before he takes a higher paying job elsewhere. Click here to read more.
The Horseshoe – March 2017 (PDF)
Steward Training Workshops
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Suzy Caston, President
Denise Quintana, Vice President
David Garcia, Treasurer
Laura Naccarato, Secretary
Suzy Caston, Child Support Services Department
Laura Naccarato, Assessor’s Department
Denise Quintana, Child Support Services Department
Michael Silverman, Agricultural Commissioner’s Department
Join the Contract Action Team (CAT)!
CAT Form – San Benito County (PDF)