Kern County

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Alsop muralOct. 9 Bargaining Update

Disney comes to Kern CAO’s office lobby

There is a new floor-to-ceiling mural in the CAO’s office that greeted us as we went to bargain our contract today. It’s clear that the CAO is out of touch with Kern County workers. We can no longer agree to ZERO. Serving our community with no resources, reduced staff, and no support from management seems impossible, but it’s not fun.

 
The County came today with two language proposals and we were able to agree on one. There was no counter on wages because they are meeting with the Board tomorrow in closed session for direction on how to reach an agreement on wages for workers.
 
 
THE BOARD NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU!
 
The board needs to hear from us before tomorrow’s closed session. Urge them to invest in the Kern County workforce and help us reach an agreement that puts us on the path to responsible recovery.
 
Click here to send email to BOS: http://521.seiu.org/KernRising
 
Stay tuned and purple up on Wednesday when we go back to the table.

Oct. 6 Bargaining Update: 

IMG_0123SEIU members turned out nearly 500 people to an informational picket on Oct. 5. Kern County workers have gone over 30 days without a contract. While we continue to bargain in good faith, management at Kern County has chosen to intimidate and threaten employees’ right to participate in legally-protected union activity. In addition, management is unable or unwilling to maintain a safe working environment for workers who continue to be exposed to bed bugs at the Department of Human Services over a year after the initial formal complaint.  This is unsafe for staff and for clients who are some of our most vulnerable community members. Read more and get involved.

Sept. 27 Bargaining Update: 

Since bargaining started in July 2017, we have filed two Unfair Labor Practices against the County. We’ve filed because management is trying to suppress members’ legal rights and protections to participate in union activity, for interfering with members’ protected union activity,  and trying to intimidate workers who are standing with our union.

SEIU Local 521 has a labor dispute with the County of Kern. SEIU Local 521 is not asking any employees to withhold their labor. SEIU Local 521 is not asking vendors or members of the public to cease doing business with the County of Kern.

TIME TO ACT IS NOW! RSVP here.

  • Stop management intimidation tactics
  • Fight for our families and our recovery
  • Establish safe and manageable caseloads for our clients and workers
  • Demand the County gets rid of the bed bugs at DHS once and for all

We want a FAIR CONTRACT NOW!

 

Sept. 20: Bargaining UpdateKern County Contract 9-20-17 Final_Page_1

Bargaining on Sept. 20 resulted in four tentative agreements on language. The County also offered a re-opener on healthcare options. This does not help workers recover or invest in our community.

What about recovery?
We spent a lot of time with the County discussing how to get to an agreement that works for everyone. It is clear: our members are NOT interested in 2 years of ZERO. We must get on the road to recovery. After a long discussion, the County agreed to work on a proposal for our next bargaining session on Oct. 9.

Click to view the County Proposal. (PDF)
Click to view the Tentative Agreements. (PDF)

Join Us for Strike School and a General Membership Meeting

Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 5:45 p.m.
IBEW Union Hall, 3921 Sillect Ave, Bakersfield
Agenda: Strike School with our Legal Counsel
RSVP to BF.RSVP@seiu521.org

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
We filed another Unfair Labor Practice against the County for intimidating Behavioral Health employees. Supervisors have been telling workers to remove union fliers and posters from their cubicles and limit their union activity to the Union Bulletin Boards. THIS IS ILLEGAL – Management is clearly giving instructions to department supervisors to limit protected Union Activity. Management cannot tell workers to remove SEIU material from cubicles. Check out this quick In a Minute—Know Your Rights video to stand up for your rights and fight back:

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
The Board of Supervisors needs to hear from YOU about how their refusal to invest in Kern County workers is hurting our community and the public services they rely on. Click here to send your personal message to each Board of Supervisor and ask them to make community services a budget priority! 

Are You Ready to Strike?
Haven’t filled out your strike card yet? Click here to electronically sign your strike assessment online to share your views on whether or not we should strike if we are unable to reach an agreement: http://521.seiu.org/kcstrikeassessment

Sept. 15: Are You Ready to STRIKE?

This week, our bargaining team was unable to meet with management due to scheduling conflicts by the Union and County. We are scheduled to return to the negotiations table as early as next Wednesday, once the County confirms our proposed dates.

We need to keep the pressure strong until we go back to the negotiations table. Are you willing to go the extra mile for a fair contract?

Make Your Voice Heard!
The Board of Supervisors needs to hear from YOU! Their refusal to invest in Kern County workers is hurting our community and the public services we rely on. Click here to send your personal message to each supervisor and ask them to make community services a budget priority! 

Are You Ready to Strike?
Haven’t filled out your strike card yet? Click here to sign your strike assessment online and share your views on whether or not we should strike if we are unable to reach an agreement.

Labor Day
Bakersfield March
Community activists, union members, and workers across the country came together on Labor Day 2017 for a national day of action to say “No” to a rigged economy and “Yes” to workers’ rights.

Workers took a stand on Sept. 4 to defend our right to unionize and fight for a better future. From Watsonville to Bakersfield, and from Fresno to San Jose, members of SEIU Local 521 and allies called on elected leaders and corporations to stand with working people, to champion our fight to raise wages, and support our right to join unions so that everyday Americans have a fighting chance of getting ahead in our economy.

Read more.

August 29 Contract Update: Will You Settle for ZERO or Will You Rise Up?

The August 28 bargaining session with the County produced another proposal where they offered a one year term with ZERO wage increases.

Click to view the County Proposals. (PDF)

Earlier in the day we countered with a two-year term with 3% each year and a step increase in the last year – as a reasonable counter to get workers out of poverty wages. While we were able to agree on a couple more articles, the main point of recovery and investment for workers is still a major debate at the table.

Click to view the SEIU Local 521 Proposals. (PDF)
Click to view the Tentative Agreements. (PDF)

At the budget hearing in the evening, over 250 members and community coalition partners filled the Board chambers for a standing room only hearing where over 65 SEIU 521 members and community allies stood and spoke in solidarity about recovery and prioritizing an investment in our workforce and the community.

Over one hundred Kern County members attended the General Membership meeting on August 23. Join them and commit to FIGHT by attending the Budget hearing at the Board of Supervisors on August 28 at 5:30 p.m. It’s time for the Board to hear from workers and constituents who voted them into office: 13 years of ZERO is not acceptable.

Click here to see Kern County Chapter President Veronica Vasquez address the Board.

How do you feel about CAO Alsop telling you to hold out for another couple years of zero? How does this impact your family life and the services you provide to our community? It’s time to let the Board hear from us. It’s time for front line workers Rise Up in our community.

Click here to send your personal message to each Board of Supervisor.

What’s Next? Join us on Labor Day to show Kern County how strong our unions are!

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 BF.RSVP@SEIU521.org or (661) 321-4161
http://bit.ly/KernLaborDay17

August 24 Contract Update: Will You Settle for ZERO or Will You Rise Up?
The County continues to stand by its proposal for Zero over 3 years in exchange for Veterans Day and the ability to contract out Custodial, Maintenance and Groundskeeping work outside a three-mile radius from the County Administrative Office.

Click to view the County Proposals (PDF)
Click to view the SEIU Local 521 Proposals (PDF)
Click to view the Tentative Agreements (PDF)

Over one hundred Kern County members attended the General Membership meeting on August 23. Join them and commit to FIGHT by attending the Budget hearing at the Board of Supervisors on August 28 at 5:30 p.m. It’s time for the Board to hear from workers and constituents who voted them into office: 13 years of ZERO is not acceptable.

Members Stand Up!Collage
Over 100 members came together at the general membership meeting on August 23. We are coming together and standing strong! Make sure to come out to the Budget Hearing on August 28 and Labor Day on Sept. 4.

August 16 Contract Update: County Proposes ZERO.
Zero increase = three more years of hard choices. Management doesn’t understand that we’re not just skipping an extra trip to Disneyland. Many of us are making choices between holding onto our houses and fixing our cars, taking out increasing loans for our kids to go to college and deciding if we really can afford our co-pays or if we’ll wait another month or two to see a doctor.

The county’s proposal takes advantage of us and our commitment to the people we serve. Their package proposal indicates that all proposals must be accepted or rejected as a group. We rejected and countered this package since it is not acceptable to our members. Read SEIU’s proposals here.

The county’s package proposal would provide us with Veterans Day holiday, remove service awards and provide us with holiday hours paid for employee’s regularly scheduled hours in exchange for ZERO wage increases over THREE years. This also includes the county removing the “Me Too” clause – suspicious – and much more. Read the county’s proposals here.

DO YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR CONTRACT AND GETTING AN INCREASE??

Time to show up and speak up at the General Membership Meeting!

WHEN: August 23, 2017

TIME: 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: IBEW Hall – 3921 Sillect Avenue, Bakersfield

RSVP for dinner here.

THIS IS A MEETING YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS – we are 10 days from your contract expiring. What are you going to do?

Labor Day
Labor Day - Pancake Breakfast - 2017 Final

Unless workers in every region can win unions, crooked politicians and corporations will continue to rig the system and workers will lose. Workers are bringing the fireworks this Labor Day – and we are taking on the politicians and corporations who fight to keep wages and workers down. On Labor Day, join the national day of action to stand up for our right to unite and to fight for a better future. Click here to RSVP.

Time To Turn Up the Heat – Are You In?
Our latest bargaining session resulted in two tentative agreements and the County presented us with three other language proposals. While the County team met with the Board in closed session regarding our proposals and received some direction, we will not see counters that address those concerns until at least next Wednesday. With our contract expiration 17 days away, we are no closer to discussing what really matters – investing in Kern County workers.
Click here to see the Tentative Agreements (PDF)
Click here to see the County’s Proposals (PDF)
Click here to read more.

Walk a Day in our Shoes with Supervisor Scrivner


Supervisor Zack Scrivner spent a day in the field with SEIU Local 521 member Annie Stevens. Annie is a Child Protective Services (CPS) worker in Kern County primarily doing emergency response. Although her normal area is in the Kern River Valley and Ridgecrest, she’s being pulled into Tehachapi and the southern high desert more often because of lack of staff and high caseloads.
Click here to read more.


Time to Turn Up the Heat!

It’s time to turn up the heat! After ten years of ZERO wage increases, it’s time to Rise Up for Kern County. Purple Up and rally to support our bargaining team and our contract.

Monday, August 14: Mojave – Noon to 1 p.m.
Tuesday, August 15: Commerce – Noon to 1 p.m.
Wednesday, August 16: DHS OC Sills – 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday, August 17: DHS Columbus Center – Noon to 1 p.m.
Friday, August 18: DHS Kinship – Noon to 1 p.m.

Bargaining Update – August 2

Our team presented economic proposals on August 2 which were met with indifference by the County bargaining team. This is what we expected, given that the CAO’s message leaves no room for wage increases over the next 3 years at least.

The only way we can make a change and win for all of our families is to join up, become members and stand in solidarity for a fair contract. It’s up to us NOW to make that change and show that we will not be divided anymore. Contact your CAT leader or Bargaining Team to sign up and get prepared for the fight ahead! Click here for more.
Click here to see SEIU’s proposal.

 

Bargaining Update – July 26

More than 100 members attended a unity break at the Dept. of Human Services OC Sills on July 26.

More than 100 members attended a unity break at the Dept. of Human Services OC Sills on July 26.

At our negotiations session on July 26, our bargaining team was greeted by Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop, who shared his thoughts on our negotiations and addressed information in our last bargaining update. The CAO conveyed the County’s strategic goals, which hopefully will help the County be fiscally healthy within 3 years. Click here to read the County’s strategic goals and how they affect our negotiations and remember to take our survey to share your thoughts.

kern no contrcting out
Bargaining Update – July 19
And so the fight begins. At the bargaining table yesterday, management proposed to have complete control to contract out all custodial, maintenance and landscape for all classifications outside a 3 mile radius from the CAO building. In addition, the County proposed to restrict overtime provisions, similar to safety unions, that only hours worked counts towards overtime and would add in our agreement that a 120 hour cap exists for Compensatory Time Off (CTO).
See the rest of the update here.
Click to see SEIU’s proposals, the County’s proposals, and our Tentative Agreements.

Bargaining Update – July 10
collage-2017-07-11 4Our bargaining team signed off on three Tentative Agreements for language –  a further sign that we are communicating and trying to work collaboratively to address worker issues that impact our ability to provide quality public services.

We also presented another set of non-economic proposals that matter to workers across Kern County. We have staff shortages and increased public demand in all departments and it’s time to address these issues. We proposed a workload article that ensures members have a process to address workload issues that are bringing down morale,  impacting employee health and scapegoating employees with unjust discipline. See the rest of the update here.
Click to see SEIU’s proposals, the County’s proposals, and our Tentative Agreements.

Bargaining Update – July 6
Our team met with the County’s bargaining team on July 5 and agreed to revise our ground rules to memorialize our intention to not introduce new proposals after August 16, in the hopes of reaching an agreement by August 27, 2017, when our agreement expires.
See the rest of the update here.

Click to see SEIU’s proposals, the County’s proposals, and our Tentative Agreements.

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)


 

February Kern Voice
All the latest news for Kern County.


 

#Fight4ourhealth
ACArally

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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