Recently when the METRO Chapter was in bargaining, METRO
management put the negotiated contractual Health Care provisions
for the County, Cities of Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and
Watsonville up on the METRO website. They demonstrated
how different the Health Care Provisions for the METRO
Chapter's MOU was as compared with other local contracts,
despite the fact that we are all represented by the same
We propose to create a Health Care Task Force to develop
a common approach to health care bargaining across all Chapters.
It is our belief that health care is the 21st Century equivalent
of the 8 hour workday with respect to labor rights. Just
as our brothers and sisters in the labor movement fought
for the 8 hour workday 100 years ago, we must strive to standardize
health care provisions in the workplace today. As such, we
must also make the case to the non-unionized workers that
affordable health care, both as an active employee and as
a retiree, is a reasonable and necessary benefit for our
Addressing Disaffected Members
In the past few years our Local has been very active in many
causes. While most of those causes are worthy,our positions
on some of them have served to alienate members who don't
agree. We propose to strengthen our membership by pulling
back from those causes that don't have a direct affect on
our members as a whole. However, we must also continue our
support for our political friends who support us in their
duties as elected officials. We must acknowledge that some
union members have differing political views and the case
must be made why a particular candidate is being supported.
How we can do this is covered in the following section.
Establish Better Communication
To Reach ALL Our Members
At two recent Exectutive Board Meetings rank and file members
came to protest the special assessment, some rather vehemently.
After seeing the debate that ensued on the Executive Board,
many stated that they understood more clearly the necessity
of the special assessment. We know that most of our members
do not have the ability to go to Executive Board Meetings
so they can understand what the Board is doing on their behalf.
We must find ways to give our membership the ability to access
information in an interactive way so that the decisions and
goals of the Executive Board and staff are clear.
In Santa Cruz County we have an amazing resource in Community
Television. For under $100 any citizen can be trained in
most aspects of television production including Studio
and Field Camera, sound, lighting, direction and production.
With a crew of five or less the business of Local 415 can
be transmitted to every member's household. It is time
that SEIU join the ranks of organizations whose business
is televised to anyone interested enough to watch. And
as we know from the debate over Proposition 75, many non-union
people are under the impression that unions are run by "union
bosses". This would be an opportunity to show that unions
are some of the most democratic institutions in our society.
Find A Permanent Mid-County Home
For SEIU 415
The Executive Board made a decision that it would be far
better to own a place for our Local rather than continue
to rent two separate sites. However, we have not been able
to move forward on this idea. Neither of the two sites we
currently rent is has adequate parking and both buildings
are rather old. Neither of these facts encourage our members
to watch or participate in the business of the Local. One
of our primary goals if elected is to get our Local a home
that is inviting and utilitarian.
So this is our vision of SEIU Local 415 for the next two
years. We hope you will join us. Please feel free to
email us and tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from
Ian, Cheryl and Stephanie
Who We Are
Ian at a County SEIU rally, Nov. 2005
An active SEIU member for almost 20 years
Local Steward of the Year 2004