Published: May 27, 2022

We recently shared the news that the State wants to offer recruitment bonuses to new hires entering hard-to-recruit-for positions. We asked for feedback from members, and thousands of you responded. Overwhelmingly, members believe attempts to address recruitment issues without also tackling employee retention won’t be enough to solve the problems of high vacancy and turnover rates (not to mention the increased workload that results from so many unfilled positions). Only addressing recruitment is like fixing only one hole in a leaky bucket.

Last week, after issuing a demand to bargain, our union submitted a proposal to the state that we think will begin to address members’ concerns with both recruitment and retention. Our proposal:

• Gives management the ability to award a hiring bonus up to 5% of annual base salary for new hires to assist with recruitment

• Adds two additional cost-of-living increases over the next 5 months, 2% on 7/1/22 and 2% on 10/1/22—these cost-of-living increases would apply to all SEIU-represented state employees and would be in addition to the 3.1% increase we bargained effective 12/1/11.

(see the full proposal here)

Bargaining in the middle of a contract is often challenging because our leverage as a union is more limited due to our “no strike” language being in effect. This means that if we are going to win these improvements now before our contract expires next year, management needs to hear from you and your coworkers about why this issue is important, and why increasing wages for all workers is the most effective solution to address the problems with recruitment and retention.


Take action!

Click this link to send an email to the head of your Agency or copy and paste the text below:

“Dear [name of your agency director]

In response to the State’s proposal to begin offering hiring bonuses for new employees without also recognizing the work and dedication of current employees, our union submitted a proposal to increase wages for current employees in addition to allowing hiring bonuses for hard-to-recruit positions.  With inflation at the highest levels in four decades and vacancy and turnover rates for SEIU positions both close to 20%, any solution to our agency’s vacancy and turnover problems must address retention. We’re proposing additional cost-of-living increases of 4% over the next 5 months, something that can, at least in part, be paid for with vacancy savings. While pay increases alone won’t completely solve the workforce problems at the State, they will at least begin to address both retention and recruitment, and that is something we must do! Please do your part to advocate for wage increases for current employees in addition to hiring bonuses for future state employees.”