TCRC members enforce negotiated contract regarding cell phone reimbursement – including in-office support staff – and win!!
When TCRC management reached out to our members to notify them that the COVID monthly stipend would be reduced to $37.50/month (from $70/month) and that if an employee was not getting the monthly stipend that they could apply for the cell phone reimbursement, that was a clear violation of our contract.
In response to that notification on March 28th, 2022, SEIU 721 TCRC member leaders jumped into action and worked with SEIU staff to initiate a group grievance. The grievance was filed on April 7, 2022. TCRC’s response was to increase the monthly stipend to $40 (from $37.50) – still a violation of our contract.
We met with management again, and their response was for members to choose between the cell phone reimbursement or the monthly stipend. Our member leaders did not agree to that, since the monthly stipend has nothing to do with the cell phone reimbursement.
We proceeded to step II of the group grievance on April 22, 2022, and TCRC came back with a proposal; our members will get both cell phone reimbursement and the monthly stipend for those who work from home part time. This proposal excluded the support staff/DOPA department from the cell phone reimbursement so we then requested a clarification meeting to discuss the exclusion. They agreed to meet with us.
Our concern was that support staff members are using their personal cell phones all day to communicate with their managers, communicate with service coordinators, work in a different offices, etc. Operations run smoothly that way.
Support staff explained to management how they were using their personal cell phones on a daily basis and gave examples.
Management agreed to have things on a case-by-case basis and let managers send a list of support staff who uses their personal cell phones.
Management sent an email the following day, but we needed the email to be very clear, so they provided all the clarity we wanted and we agreed to their proposal and we dropped the group grievance.
On Monday, May 9th, TCRC let us know that they’ve decided to include our support staff in the cell phone reimbursement. They will be paid automatically!
Kudos to member leaders Lisa Foster, Annie Betterley-Smith, Joy Lee, Araceli Contreras, and Blanca Zepeda for their leadership and strong commitment to our members.
It is only because we stuck together that we could have this nice win. The only way to guarantee this kind of power is through our membership.
If you are not a member yet, help increase our collective power even more and sign up to become a full-fledged member now.
When we fight, we win!
For questions, contact Worksite Organizer Revi Levi at firstname.lastname@example.org.