City of Santa Cruz

We represent nearly 455 workers at the City of Santa Cruz.

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Breaking News

Brothers and Sisters:

On June 24th  SEIU 521 member ratified the Tentative Agreement reached on June 18th  with 62% of voting member’s approval.   This is a fair start to getting our members back on the road to recovery from the years of concessions that we made to help the city balance its budget. And there is still lots of work to do as we move forward, hopefully together and in collaboration with City management team, in order to provide the highest quality of services to the public and provide good permanent jobs to our residents. Lifting up residents of Santa Cruz out of poverty will still be our part of our agenda as we fight for all residents to see a livable wage that helps them in this high cost, UN-affordable housing.

At the June 24th Council meeting, we also shared our member’s  overwhelming vote of no confidence in the City Manager Martin Bernal.  For the last 5 years, we have continued to see a lack of communications and intervention on various management and employee issues that have arisen. Workers do not feel that the City Manager presents all information clearly and succinctly to the Council with honesty and integrity while looking out for all employees and not just the executive management.  More temporary and “free” interns are used in the City than permanent positions.  Where is the money going and how is it supporting the demand from the public?

Other jurisdictions, during concessionary years, have eliminated cash outs and incentives across the board, not just with their front line staff.  This is not the case with Martin Bernal.  Workers can no longer support nor believe that he has the interests of ALL workers and the residents at the forefront and thus a vote of no confidence is warranted.  We have asked  the Council to investigate the loss of front line staff positions in critical departments, where and how the savings were achieved, why more management positions are created and not front line staff and justify how executive cash outs continue while workers do not have this luxury? We hear about unfunded liabilities but no one is questioning this lucrative benefits for a few.

We hope the City manager will see our members vote of no confidence as an opportunity to earn the trust and respect of our workers in the future, while improving communication and addressing the issues that impact the services we provide.

We will continue to work on the Class and Comp study and will be reaching out to members in various department to work on the study findings.  If you are interested in participating for your workgroup, please contact your Internal Organizer Veronica Rodriguez at to be on a workgroup.

Congratulations to all of you for stepping up to fight together.  A special thanks to our County SEIU members and leaders who participated and supported us throughout this bargaining process.  Solidarity is strength.  The fight continues and we will ensure that member’s voices in the city continue to be heard – the sleeping giant is awake!

In Unity,

SEIU 521 City of Santa Cruz Bargaining Team and SEIU 521 staff

City of Santa Cruz Tentative Agreement Summary 06.19.2015 (PDF)


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Chapter News Archive

SEIU 521 members deliver comprehensive proposal to City management!

On Monday March 23rd, members held a campaign kickoff rally in front of City Hall to show solidarity and let the management know that workers are ready to recover with the City and put quality public services at the forefront.  Today, the team delivered a comprehensive proposal to the City that respects and values SEIU 521 members and focuses on our community and how the Council is transparent and inclusive with the Community.  The City did respond in part, by saying that there were looking at proposing increases.

City of Santa Cruz Kickoff Campaign 2015

Our proposal includes workers moving along the path of recovery by converting the two – 2 % percent wages increases in the last two years (total 4%) to permanent structural changes, as a base line for moving up. Unfortunately the City claims that it is only 2% percent that workers would recover, given that all the concessions were packaged together, rather than the 4%.  This is not  what members bargained and not what we agreed to at the table.

Our next bargaining meeting will be held on Thursday April 2nd , where we will get responses from the City on some proposals, but not likely on economic proposals since they must discuss this with the Council on April 21st and cost our proposal out.

Please see Union Proposal
#1: SEIU Local 521 Proposal #1 – City of Santa Cruz 03.26.2015
#2 SEIU Local 521 Proposal #2 – City of Santa Cruz 04.23.2015
#3 SEIU Local 521 Proposal #3 – City of Santa Cruz 05.07.2015
#4 SEIU Local 521 Proposal #4 LBFO – City of Santa Cruz 06.16.15

Whats next?

  • Purple Up on Thursdays when our bargaining team negotiates with the City. Send us a pic of your worksite supporting our bargaining team at
  • Stay tuned – call our hotline for updates or talk with a bargaining team member or Contract Action Team Member (City of Santa Cruz CAT List)

Join the C.A.T. Team

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A key step in winning a strong contract is the ability to demonstrate to the City that  members are willing to fight. We are looking for Members to sign up to take action in support of upcoming contract negotiations by joining Contract Action Teams (CAT’s). Sign-up Sheet: Contract Action Team members will be called upon to take part in actions that will help to secure a better contract  – informing coworkers, sending delegates to meet with City Council members, wearing stickers, lobbying legislators, signing petitions, and participating in other worksite activities that lets the City know that we are serious.

Step up to help organize your co-workers as we go into bargaining!

We’re All In!  Standing Up for Quality Service and Dignity for All!

The City of Santa Cruz acknowledges it is recovering thanks to city workers’ sacrifices.  But city workers have yet to recover.  Share your story of surviving in an economy that is leaving working families behind.
Fill out online:
Print Form: City of Santa Cruz Worker Stories (PDF)

Chapter Leadership

Chapter Officers
President: Doris Henry,, 420-4232
Vice-President: Cathy Escobar,, 420-6109

Chapter Stewards
Doris Henry – Public Works
Jonna Hubling – Public Works
Leslie Auerbach – Library
Mia Duquet – Parks

Bargaining Team
Doris Henry – President Cathy Escobar - Region 1
Jonna Hubling – Region 2
Xander Joyet – Region 3
Rene Belling – Region 4
Leslie Auerbach - Region 5
Michael Gomes – Region 6
Sasha Lydon – Region 7
Ted Rossiter – Region 8

Chapter Contract(s)

City of Santa Cruz MOU – Jul. 6, 2013 to Jul. 3, 2015 (PDF-Searchable)
City of Santa Cruz-Temps MOU – June 26, 2010 – April 8, 2016 (PDF-Searchable)
City of Santa Cruz-Temps MOU Side Letter July 1, 2015 (PDF)
Bylaws – City of Santa Cruz (PDF)
City of Santa Cruz Tentative Agreement Summary 06.19.2015 (PDF)

Chapter News Archive

521 honors fallen police officers Region 2 in Action – Volume 3, May 2012 (PDF)
Santa Cruz City Watchdog, May 2012 (PDF)
Santa Cruz City Watchdog, March 2012 (PDF)
Santa Cruz City Watchdog, Sept. 2011 (PDF)
Region 2 in Action – Volume 2, July 2011 (PDF)
Library board OK’s staffing change, without staff input
Against the will of library employees and community members, the Santa Cruz library board approved a new staffing plan Oct. 3, 2011 that will replace permanent staff with temporary workers. Oct. 2, 2011 |
Opinion by Rene Belling: Library reorganization deserves more discussion Sept. 30, 2011 |
Photo album: Making signs for the Santa Cruz Libraries rally Sept. 27, 2011 |
In the News: Library board meets ahead of vote on layoffs: Union wants more public input before decision Santa Cruz City Watchdog, Aug. 2011 (PDF)
City workers to defend Social Security for temps (Jul. 26, 2011)
City of Santa Cruz workers and community groups challenge Santa Cruz City Council to defend Social Security benefits for temporary employees.
Santa Cruz City Watchdog, Sept. 2011 (PDF)
Region 2 in Action – Volume 2, July 2011 (PDF)
Santa Cruz City Watchdog, July 2011 (PDF)
Santa Cruz City Watchdog, May 2011 (PDF)
Region 2 in Action, April 2011 (PDF)
Santa Cruz City Scoop, Feb. 2011 (PDF)

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