Kern County

We represent nearly 5,700 workers in Kern County.

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On February 7th and 8th our bargaining team met with the County’s Human Resources department to discuss outstanding items that impact our Kern County workforce. We are now preparing to ensure that all workers are respected for the valuable services we provide to our community. The discussion was instrumental in helping our team get to work.

Overtime amendments:

We are still not in agreement with the overtime issue that is impacting workers across the County. While the County has offered Holidays to count as hours worked for the purposes of overtime, we still have essential and critical workers throughout the County that work 24 hours a day and are impacted with a potential loss of overtime if taking time off during that week. The Board of Supervisors is now threatening to contract out our public works and this is not a        solution. Our first responders in Public Works and DHS are critical to our community, and are often better trained and more cost-effective than contracted services. We will continue to meet with the County to try and resolve this overtime issue that impacts our community.

Stay tuned, get involved and fight back.

Kern County Update – Feb 9 (PDF)


Bargaining Update – Dec. 13, 2017
The results are in and members of SEIU 521 voted to ratify a new two-year contract with Kern County. The vote count took place on Dec. 13. 75 percent of members who cast a ballot voted “YES” to accept the Tentative Agreement.

The 2017 Bargaining Team would like to thank each and every member who voted, participated in worksite actions, came to meetings, and signed up as a CAT (Contract Action Team member). This agreement was not easily reached, but we mobilized and put enough pressure on the County to win one additional holiday, three paid closure days during the holidays in 2017 and 2018, and a bonus for every member. We kept our “me too” clause and protected healthcare and retirement.

Click here for more.


Bargaining Update – Dec. 5, 2017

After bargaining for almost 6 months, our bargaining team reached a Tentative Agreement with the County at 5:46 p.m. This agreement is a reflection of our collective efforts at our worksites, in the streets, and our lobbying efforts with the Board of Supervisors.

When we started negotiating, we were offered no additional money over 3 years and takeaways – today, we have an agreement that puts some money in our pockets, paid holiday closures between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and stronger provisions for addressing longstanding issues like safety, caseload, salary schedules, step revisions, and more.
Our bargaining team is recommending a YES vote.

See the schedule here

See all TAs here

See the Extra Help TAs here


Bargaining Update – Nov. 20, 2017

The County’s bargaining team will meet with the Board of Supervisors on Dec. 5 to get further direction for bargaining. We will bargain in the afternoon and send an update immediately afterward.

Attend one of our upcoming worksite meetings for an in-depth bargaining update. Meetings will be held from Nov. 28 through Dec. 5. The schedule is here.

Our bargaining team wishes you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends. Let’s give thanks for our families, our health, and for our continued unity and strength as we march onwards and rise up together for our community.


Survey for Eligibility Workers:
SEIU Local 521 represents Eligibility Workers in counties from Bakersfield to San Jose. The EW Industry Council members lobby key officials in Sacramento to discuss issues, support bills that benefit Eligibility Workers and address on-going IT technical issues that Eligibility Workers face on a daily basis.
The purpose of this survey is to obtain information from members SEIU Local 521represents from five counties; Fresno, Kern, Monterey, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. The questions reflect the work members in eligibility departments complete and the working conditions that impact the eligibility workers on a daily basis.
Many of the impacts are related to decisions made at the state level or are a direct result of your counties management’s decisions. In order for the union and the members to work on these issues, we need to better understand what those impacts are.

Please take a moment to complete the survey.



Take Back Labor Day – America Needs Unions

Join us for a Pancake Breakfast and march for our contract.
Sept. 4 at 8 a.m.
200 West Jeffrey Street, Bakersfield
RSVP to or (661) 321-4161

More Recent Chapter News

Chapter Archive

Chapter Meetings & Events

Quarterly Shop Steward Meetings – 2017
Thursday, January 26  |  Thursday, April 20
Thursday, July 13  |  Thursday, October 19
NOTE: Quarterly Shop Steward meetings will begin at 6 p.m.
SEIU Local 521 Office,  1001 17th St.  (Corner of 17th and O)
Please RSVP at (661) 321-4161 to attend.

Steward Workshops in Bakersfield
Sign Up Online Now!

Chapter Officer’s meetings
2nd Tuesday of each month – 5:30 p.m.
SEIU Local 521 Office,  1001 17th St.  (Corner of 17th and O)
Please RSVP at (661) 321-4161 to attend.


Chapter Leadership

Chapter Officers
President – Veronica Vasquez
Vice President – Juan Contreras
C.O.P.E. Representative -Francisco Martinez
Secretary/Treasurer – David Camacho Jr.

District Representatives:
1. Vacant
2. Vacant
3. Sonja Bennett
4. Vacant
5. Nick Kott

Bargaining Unit Representatives:
1. Sonja Chagollon
2. Nicole Mozier
3. Vacant
4. Vacant
5. Juan Gonzalez
6. Lee Herron

Millennial Committee:

Chapter Stewards
Having a problem at work? Contact your worksite steward first:
(Files in PDF format)
Shop Stewards (Alphabetical) | Shop Stewards (By Dept)

Bargaining Team

Unit 1 – Supervisory
Sonja Bennett
Sonia Chagallon

Unit 2 – Professional
Perla Juarez
Nicole Mozier

Unit 3 – Technical
Tiffany Sagbohan
Juan Contreras

Unit 4 – Clerical
Elizabeth Armstrong
Melanie Dahlstedt

Unit 5 – Administrative
Imelda Ceja-Butkiewicz
Juan Gonzalez

Unit 6 – Trades/Crafts/Labor
Jason Rodriguez
Mike Shelton

Alternates are also available to serve as replacements should one of the elected team members be unable to perform their duties.


Chapter Contract

Files in PDF format

Kern County Contract (3/28/2015-8/27/2017)
Kern County Criminal Justice Unit Contract (3/28/2015-8/27/2017)
Kern County Bylaws


Chapter Archive

Files in PDF format

Together We Rise
Kern County Bargaining TeamOn June 29, our team met with the County’s bargaining team which consisted of Devin Brown, Chief Negotiator, Michael Goulart, Liz Brown and Tracey Eldridge. This first meeting went well and we mutually agreed to set up a weekly schedule and confirm five bargaining dates for the month of July so far. We both expressed a common interest in reaching an agreement that wins for workers, the community and the county and agreed to ground rules for our negotiations. Assistant CAO Nancy Lawson provided a brief overview of the County’s proposed budget which is not final until the Board approves it at the end of August.

This is a hopeful start for negotiations and our team look forward to presenting our first set of proposals next Wednesday, July 5.


collage-2017-06-28 (1)

Kern County Bargaining Team members, CAT members and Chapter Officers gathered on June 27 for a dinner and to talk about the work ahead. Talk to a shop steward, a CAT or an organizer to get involved to win a contract that puts our community first!


Juan Gonzalez KCERA win 2Juan Gonzalez wins KCERA Election
Congratulations to Juan Gonzalez and to all our Kern County members! Juan won by 14 votes. Every vote matters. Let’s get involved and stay involved to build a better future.

Members vote to approve the Bargaining Concepts
Members made their voices heard and approved the bargaining concepts in a nearly unanimous vote. Thank you to everyone who came out or voted by mail (offered to members who live more than 50 miles away). Our bargaining team is eager to begin the process of bargaining our next contract with this guidance from the members.


Huge Turnout for Campaign Kickoffcollage-2017-06-08
Thank you for coming to the Kern County Campaign Kickoff on June 8 at the SEIU union hall in Bakersfield. Members learned about the bargaining concepts and voted to accept or reject them. To ensure all ballots are received from members residing more than 50 miles from last week’s voting location, we are postponing the vote count to Wednesday, June 14. We will update our website with the results once all ballots are counted.


Are you Ready to Fight?

Kern CAT Team - 4-27-17Our Contract Action Team (CAT) members came together on April 27 to meet and begin the work of building information networks at the worksites and to get firsthand information on the bargaining process. There is no better way to build strength and advocate for investment in quality public services. If you want to become a CAT, fill out the form on the back and come to the next meeting.

The more information we have, the stronger we will be at the bargaining table

Welcome our new Chapter Officers and Bargaining Team (PDF)



Hundreds of people are coming together to protect and preserve the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A series of community actions began at Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield office in December, but the fight continues. Read the article to see how it all began and click the links to see get more involved.

Click here for more.


Erskine Fire Highlights Importance of Public Services

Animal Services officers with horses in the Kern River Valley. (photo from Kern County Animal Shelter Facebook page.)

Animal Services officers with horses in the Kern River Valley. (photo from Kern County Animal Shelter Facebook page.)

The Erskine Fire has consumed over 45,000 acres in Kern County and displaced hundreds of residents. As fire fighters continue to battle the fire, SEIU public service workers are on the front lines making sure residents have what they need. Nurses from the Public Health Department are working in the Kern River Valley to care for residents and disaster workers. People requiring more attention have been taken to Kern Medical, Kern County’s public hospital and only Level 2 trauma center. “We’re all pulling together for this community. Recovery is going to take a long time and county workers will be here every step of the way,” said Suzanne McWhorter, Public Health Nurse II.


New Steward Orientation – 5-22-17


Leadership Elections 2017
Bargaining Team Elections Booklet – 2017 – With Nomination Form
Chapter Officers Election 2017 – Nomination Form
Chapter Officers Election 2017 – List of Responsibilities
Vote March 20 – 24!
Voting Schedule
Sign up now to join the Contract Action Team!
Bargaining Team Elections Booklet – 2017 – With Nomination Form
Chapter Officers Election 2017 – List of Responsibilities
Bargaining Team Election 2017
Chapter Officers and Bargaining Team Vote – SCHEDULE 2017

Unite to protect our hiring, promotions and recognition practices at Kern Medical
Nearly 2,500 workers getting 2% back, thanks to union contract
Three Rivers Leadership Summit

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