721 members would fight to increase L.A.’s minimum wage even if it didn’t benefit them directly — the gap between the richest Angelenos and average workers is the widest it’s ever been. But winning a minimum wage increase for all L.A. workers isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s good for every member of 721.
I’ve got some big news. At the end of February, SEIU 721 members at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new three year contract. It contains improved healthcare benefits, provides for better staff development and safeguards employee vacation time. These are all important wins for our members. But that’s not the whole story.
It wasn’t easy, but we changed the conversation. When our LA County Children’s Social Workers went out on strike last December, no one could really predict how it would end. All of our LA County members had worked hard for nine months to win a good contract. We held rallies, mass pickets and a huge walk-out on Oct. 1.
The new year is here, and I’ve started thinking about what’s ahead for Local 721 members. One positive trend is that the economy is finally picking up and that means we’re seeing more money in our contracts. In the City of Riverside, Oxnard, Santa Barbara, Santa Ana, LA County and elsewhere, SEIU 721 members have negotiated strong contracts that include raises.