The February 2nd Rally for Raises was not the first SEIU 721 event I have attended. Over the years, I’ve participated in other events and was even part of a winning group grievance. But, the issue of raises has me fired up. I signed up to help on 2/2. I wanted to get more involved and my work site organizer, Diana, encouraged me to go.
It has been over four years since LA County has given us a raise. The time has passed and now we need to get together and say with one loud voice, “We Deserve a Raise!”
Over 600 LA County employees went to the 2013 Bargaining Kick-Off Rally on February 2nd to start talking about what we want, a plan to get it and who will sit at the Bargaining table representing each bargaining unit.
We were inspired to take a stand and get in the momentum of the upcoming Bargaining Campaign and the Rally on April 16th when the appointed County CEO William Fujioka will meet with Board of Supervisors to propose a budget for 2013-2014. What will help convince the Board of Supervisors to agree with our proposal is show that there are great number of employees outside of the building who want raises in the budget. Four years have passed with no increase in wages. Four years of hiring freezes have burdened individuals with burdening and stressful workloads. On April 16th, it is our duty to TURN IT UP!
Later that day, we broke up into groups according to bargaining unit to discuss our issues and what we need to bring to the bargaining table.
These are some of the issues our bargaining unit discussed. Some concerns probably overlap with other bargaining units. Here are some of them:
Training opportunities to promote
Reclassification of items
Violations of workers’ compensation
Performance evaluations that keep workers from promoting
Retaliation against stewards
Reclassification with raise
Twice the work with the same pay
Overtime for clerical
Incentive bonuses for clerical
Training for supervisors to give clearer evaluations.
Against use of email as a source of discipline
More bilingual bonuses
Hire more people
I came home thinking that four years have passed, WE have sacrificed during the budget freeze, WE have been overworked during the hiring freeze and it’s time for movement towards hiring and raises. It’s time for an increase in pay because we need to keep up with the price of living.
The upcoming Bargaining Campaign has started. The union needs each of us to help them by showing up Downtown on April 16th from 9:00 to 1:00 pm. The bus will come to our work site and pick us up. We just need to turn in a request for time off (158) as soon as possible for that time period. They will give us boxed lunch and a t-shirt. The shirt will show our unity. The lunch will help us endure. I hope to inspire all of LA County’s workers to attend the rally. We need to fill the streets. People should go out on April 16th because each person represents a part of a loud voice calling out to the Board of Supervisors that we are here for a raise. We want to know what they are going to do with the proposal for the pay increase. We want to drive the point home that we are united, asking for the same thing and we want the Board of Supervisors to hear us say in one voice: We Need Raises!