SEIU 1021 employees authorize strike as its clash with the city goes to arbitration

Joseph SchellSEIU Local 1021 won a good city contract last year using a show of force and solidarity in City Hall and the streets.

Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents most city employees in San Francisco, continues to fight both internal and external challenges, with its own staff employees overwhelmingly authorizing a strike just as the union battles the city over pay equity issues.

As the Bay Guardian reports, SEIU Local 1021 organizers, researchers, negotiators, and other professional staff, represented by Communication Workers of America Local 9404, have been without a contract since last fall, and they're resisting concessions to their pensions and health care benefits that President Roxanne Sanchez and her leadership team are seeking.

After several cancelled negotiating sessions between the two sides, CWA last week called for a strike authorization vote that was approved by 94 percent of voting members. CWA Area Director Libby Sayre and Nick Perino, a CWA shop steward at Local 1021, say the vote repudiates Sanchez's characterization that it is a small but vocal group that is unhappy with management.

“We're very much united in our position and our willingness to do what it takes to get a decent contract,” Perino told us. Sayre told the Guardian, “There is widespread sentiment they're being low-balled by management.”

The two sides are scheduled to meet today, and Sayre told us the likelihood of a strike “depends on what management's attitude is [Friday].”

artsbooksChris DalyLocalStrike

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