Since the adoption of our new collective bargaining agreement, the Essential Worker meet and confer team has met multiple times to discuss strategy on how to proceed with negotiations. First, a request for information was submitted in December of 2021. Then, an initial demand letter to bargain was sent out in January 2022. We had our first bargaining session with the State on February 22nd, 2022. However, due to California State Guidelines not being established, there was not much progress made. A follow up request letter for information was submitted in March 2022. After that letter was submitted, it was decided that a follow up demand to bargain letter with a deadline was the appropriate next step (click link to view letter). The meet and confer team is exploring all options that will continue to put pressure on Cal HR and the Governor’s office, including but not limited to strategizing with AFSCME Statewide Political Director and meeting with other AFSCME locals and chapters.
AFSCME’s position is that all Bargaining Unit 19 classifications shall receive the Essential worker pay/bonus and that the State retroactively pay Essential Worker pay bonuses back to when the pandemic first began, which is in line with what some city and county employees throughout the State have already received. AFSCME members should be on the lookout for eblast updates and possible surveys as we get further along in this process.
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Essential Worker Meet and Confer Team:
Juan Vazquez, Business Agent, Chief Spokesperson