LA/OC Cities Stewards Council Update – January 2014

stacee_karnya2.jpgLA City Chemist II Stacee Karnya wrote this summary of the recent LA/OC Cities Stewards’ and Leaders’ Council Meeting, held on Jan. 15, 2014.

Next Stewards’ and Leaders’ Council Meeting:

Wednesday, Feb. 19
5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
SEIU 721 Headquarters, Room 1A
1545 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles 90017
RSVP here.

I attended the Jan. 15 LA/OC Cities and Districts Stewards and Leaders Council meeting at SEIU Local 721. As an LA City member from MOU 8, which joined SEIU 721 a few years ago, I am always seeking opportunities to learn more about my job as a steward.

The meeting’s agenda had training scenarios that we discussed. We also reviewed the roles of a steward. But the depth of experience in the room from the people that attended is what I enjoyed the most.

Stewards and leaders who have been active for only a few years, like me, and those that have more than 20 years of experience were there. It was great to hear different ideas being discussed and to learn from all those who attended.

For Our Families and Communities

With the current contracts for all SEIU 721-represented LA City workers expiring on June 30 this year, bargaining is at the front of everyone’s mind. What are we going to bargain for? Who is going to be on the Bargaining Team?

These issues are important to all LA City employees and their families.  This meeting kicked off the Bargaining Team nominations and also gave an update on the city’s budget process.  This is going to be an important time for all LA City employees to work together to protect jobs and to restore services.

We need to inform the public about all that we do for this city and shine a light on what we can work together to improve. We need to have more streets paved, more sidewalks fixed, and more parks and libraries open, instead of having wealthy corporations hurt our communities. This contract is going to be a tough fight and we need to start working on it now!

Whether you’re a new steward or a veteran steward, thinking about being a steward, or just a member who wants more information about the issues and what is going on in the union–the monthly Stewards Council meeting is a great way to learn about what is going on and meet more of your brothers and sisters from all areas of LA City.

The meeting ended with a great quote by John F. Kennedy that I think everyone should think about:

“Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups.  They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits.  Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.”   

For more information, contact SEIU 721 Worksite Organizer Paul Kim: (213) 271-3150.