Having gone through a dry spring and hot summer, California is in the throngs of one of the worst droughts in recent history. Residents in Inland Southern California know all too well that, while water makes the desert green, it can also tax resources both financially and environmentally. SEIU 721 City of Riverside members at the Riverside Public Utilities' Customer Service and 311 Call Centers know they have to be extra cool and professional when the mercury soars.
After several years of stop and start negotiations with Riverside County, Per Diem workers at Riverside County Regional Medical Center (RCRMC) and Inpatient Treatment Facilities (ITF) finally won the right to organize, and on Tuesday, Sept. 23, after all the votes were counted, workers overwhelmingly voted to join SEIU Local 721.
The SEIU 721 Riverside County Medical Retiree Benefits bargaining team met with County representatives on Tuesday, Aug. 26, for their first bargaining session. The team presented a proposal on improving the $25 a month retiree health benefit. Calling it a "win-win situation," members encouraged management to consider the proposal on increasing and restructuring the parameters of the current benefit.
A Ventura County Superior Court judge, Kent Kellegrew, issued a final ruling to take the pension-killing measure off the November ballot. The judge ruled that if the measure was against state law and if it was allowed to stay on the ballot it would result in a waste of taxpayer money because it could not be legally enacted.
SEIU 721 members in the City of Palm Springs voted 87% to ratify a proposed contract with management on Tuesday, July 15, 2014. The four-year contract was approved by City Council on Wednesday evening.
Public employees have been under attack by anti-worker interest groups who have tried to blame public service workers for the recession. The real facts are that Riverside County public service retirees only receive $25 a month toward retiree medical benefits and current workers are below community standards in wages.
The SEIU 721 City of Palm Springs bargaining team negotiated a tentative agreement with Palm Springs management on Tuesday, July 15, 2014. City workers will see a 4% salary increase over the four-year contract. A ratification vote will be held Tuesday, July 15.
Following several weeks of City of Hemet worker testimonies on how proposed layoffs and cuts will affect working families and the need to respect the collective bargaining process, the Hemet City Council approved a budget that calls for elimination of positions and more cuts.
SEIU Local 721 social workers spoke up at the Board of Supervisors meeting on May 20 to urge the Board to support children in Santa Barbara County by improving recruitment and retention of social workers to keep children safe.
The SEIU 721 bargaining team and Palm Springs management have held several productive bargaining sessions over the past two weeks. The last session was held on Tuesday, May 20. SEIU 721 researchers produced a deep financial report on the City's finances and the bargaining team is analyzing those findings.