Bargaining Committee Report
Hi, My name is Latasha. I’m a security officer in San Leandro and a member of the Union Bargaining Committee. As you probably know, we just ratified a new union contract, and we all received our first raise on the first of the year. This contract is the best union security contract in the country, but we all know that it’s not enough. I want to tell you a little bit about the bargaining process, what happened as we were fighting for this contract, and how we can win a lot more in the future.
As you can probably guess, our employers don’t want to give us anything. In fact, when they enter negotiations, they are looking to claw things back from us. We were fighting for real changes in this contract, including having some rules for when our employers can force mandatory overtime and protections for officers when they are facing a client removal. While we won some new protections, we didn’t get everything we were fighting for.
The bargaining team also fought to increase wages. The first offer from the employers was a 20-cent raise per year for the life of the contract. The bargaining team immediately rejected that. After 12 all-day bargaining sessions, with as many as 15 offers and counteroffers going back and forth, we finally reached the agreement that was ratified. Over the three years of the contract, most officers will see a significant increase.
We were able to move the employers because of the political work we have done as a Union. Our members make phone calls and walk precincts to support state, federal and local politicians who support working people in California. Many of those politicians reached out to our employers during bargaining to support us and encourage them to reach a fair contract.
We can win more by showing that we are unified and prepared to fight for a better life. Between now and the expiration of our contract in three years, I strongly encourage you to reach out to the union and find out how you can get involved. Politicians making phone calls helps, but the threat of us all walking off the job would have a much bigger impact on our employers.