As we head into the holidays ready for fun times with family and friends, and some well-earned time away from work, we also carry heavy hearts. The unimaginable loss of life in San Bernardino was another chapter in a senseless gun violence story that continues to unfold in this country. This time, however, it hit very close to home. Many of the 14 victims were our brothers and sisters in SEIU and Teamsters. It’s a time of mourning for the tragic loss, but also a time when we show solidarity and care to our community. It’s time to move forward with strength, and in remembrance of those lost.
On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved our new contract and the bargaining team signed the final document two days later. This puts a final stamp on a contract that has been a year and half in the making. The contract calls for adding up to 5,000 jobs lost during the recession over the next three years. This news is welcome relief on two levels. On the one hand, critical vacancies will be filled which we hope will alleviate the heavy workload and much of the worksite stress that we’ve all been experiencing. Read the full story here. Secondly, hiring will be targeted to impact the high unemployment rate in the City of Los Angeles giving residents the ability to spend and boost the economy and resources to the City. Again, a big thank you for your support and participation throughout the process, we couldn’t have done it without you.
In the New Year, we will be reaching out to you to show your support for your Union by resigning a membership card and asking those who are paying agency fees to sign up now as a voluntary member. We need to unite against the forces that would take away our ability to negotiate a contract on your behalf or represent you in the work area. A case currently being heard at the Supreme Court would do just that and the way we fight back is with our combined strength.
A couple of reminders – the first membership meeting of the New Year will be Jan. 6 at 6:30pm. Plan to attend and bring your questions and concerns.
The deadline to complete the health benefits survey has been extended. Your input is vital in providing the best coverage. Take the survey here.
The deadline for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California’s Emerging Leaders Essay Oratory and Art Competition is Dec. 20. If you have an aspiring student leader in your midst, this is a fantastic opportunity to show those skills as a future leader. Click here for the flyer, the essay application here or the art application here. The winners take home cash prizes.
Whether you celebrate Chanukah, Christmas or Kwanza, may your special days be filled with family, joy and good cheer. We look forward to a New Year of peace and prosperity.