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.
June was a big month for SEIU 721 members. Our endorsed candidates and measures won by considerable margins in Compton, Riverside, Oxnard and San Fernando. And I just got news of another important victory at the ballot box in Monterey Park, where our members joined with community allies to keep the fire department under local control.