Published: August 6, 2021

Last week, your member-elected bargaining team put forward our demands for raises, hazard pay and a step system that would automatically increase pay as workers gained more experience on the job. The State has not responded to our proposals on these core issues, but we did make progress this week on worker safety and union representation!

Members of the bargaining team met with the State this week and reached an agreement on two important parts of union representation: the grievance procedure and your rights when facing provider number terminations.

The grievance procedure is a way to push back on the State when your rights under our contract are violated. A strong process holds the State accountable and ensures that our rights are protected. The new language we won will streamline the process, clarify the steps in the process, and make it more accessible to more workers.

We also reached an agreement on your rights to union representation when facing a provider number termination. The language in the current contract needed some clarity. The new language will ensure that people are protected and get full representation from their union if they are facing termination.

Your bargaining team also made another proposal on worker safety. Two weeks ago, many of you wrote to DHS demanding that workers be protected from harassment and abuse while doing their jobs. Now, we have a proposal in front of management to do just that, in addition to requiring the state to have emergency plans in place for events like pandemics, wildfires and earthquakes (including access to PPE!).

We are expecting a response from the State on our core economic issues next week. Here’s a reminder of what’s on the table:

  • Hazard Pay: $1,000 to $2,000 hazard pay checks for all workers who worked during the pandemic.
  • Wage Increases: $1.30 per hour raise.
  • Creating A Wage Step System: Automatic pay increases as a worker gains experience on the job.
  • Holiday Pay: Time and a half for working on a holiday.
  • Paid Time-Off: Real PTO, so workers can take time off rather than just getting a cash benefit.

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