Court Workers Picket for Pay Raise
Say They Haven’t Seen an Increase in Six Years
Thursday, December 18, 2014
The union is demanding a 7 percent pay increase to be spread over an indeterminate number of years. The last contract between the Superior Court and its workers expired October 31, and five negotiation sessions have taken place since August. Court executive administrator Darrel Parker said he could not comment on the specifics of contract negotiations, but he did acknowledge courthouse workers have been asked to do much more in recent years with fewer people. In the past two years, 47 courthouse employees have left under intense budgetary constraints.
A Busy 2014 and Hope for Positive Growth in 2015
2014 has been a very busy year for Local 620 leadership and staff requiring the negotiations of many of our contracts including finishing our largest group’s contract, which is the County of Santa Barbara. We have also been negotiating initial contracts for our members in Oceano CSD and the City of Goleta, which have never been represented by a labor organization. There have been numerous political campaigns both on the local level and at the state and federal level. And we have been involved in the continuing struggle to fight back against special interest groups that are trying to vilify public sector employee unions.
We have just completed the 2014 General Election and I am happy to report that we achieved success in every jurisdiction that we participated in. The following are the results of our 2014 campaigns: in Isla Vista Parks and Recreation, both board members whom we supported won. Congratulations go to Paola de la Cruz and Jacob Labell for their victory over a candidate that publically attacked Local 620 and attempted to turn our membership against Local 620. With great pleasure, I am pleased that we were able to assist Jack Boysen to get re-elected to Santa Maria City Council. I am sorry to report our only and biggest loss was failing to get a Local 620 member, Amy Lopez, elected, mostly due to low turnout. This was Amy’s first attempt at a Santa Maria Council seat and we are confident she will have better results in 2016. Thanks to the work of staff and members, we achieved several victories in our San Luis Obispo County Council races.
At the state level, SEIU swept all eight constitutional offices, but may have lost three favorable congressional districts, two state senate seats and two state assembly seats. The good news is that overall we maintained our majority of supporters at the state level. I am sorry to report that this is not the case nationally where several states either maintained their anti union elected representatives and/or added more allies to their war against organized labor. It will take a lot of work to overcome the losses of the 2014 election cycle in 2016, so we need everyone to get started now by recruiting and supporting labor friendly candidates, making sure that everyone of us is registered to vote including our family, friends, and coworkers. Being registered is not all it takes; you actually need to get out and vote, and make sure everyone else votes. Additionally it is important to work the campaigns for the individuals and propositions that you support.
Local 620 is proud to announce that we were able to purchase a new office building in Santa Maria. The Local has put away savings for many years that enabled us to purchase the building outright; we believe that renovations will be completed in December and we will be able to move in by January 1, 2015. The address for the new office in Santa Maria is 114 North Vine Street, Santa Maria, California 93454. Our intent is to have an open house shortly after completion of the remodeling and after we have moved in. Notice of the open house will be sent out; we hope that you can make yourself available to join us.
Local 620 is continuing to update our new database in our ongoing struggle to maintain accurate contact information for our members. Thanks to a court ruling earlier this year, employers are required to provide names and contact information for everyone in each bargaining unit and every employer. Our new database hopefully will allow us to provide union information to our members more accurately and required information to our non-members. Please make sure that you maintain accurate contact information with your employer and the Local as changes occur. The Local’s new database will also assist in maintaining case notes, documents, and activity reports for each member, reducing the need to maintain hard copy files. The new database is fully protected, capable of remote access by staff. Local 620 does not share any information with anyone nor do we sell any list.
Local 620 leadership and staff would like to wish everyone a happy and joyous holiday season. We look forward to 2015 and the hopes that the poor economic times are behind us. We hope to continue our goal to provide positive growth to working families across our Local, California, and our nation.
Local 620 is dedicated to providing meaningful, quality service to our members. We look forward to interaction with members both in a group setting and one on one. We value your constructive input, and suggestions and we encourage you to participate in your union.
From the Executive Director