Based on the progress we had made the week before, we were hopeful last Friday that we could finally achieve an agreement with management. Management put in writing their concepts that would finally, “meet us half-way,” and we agreed to make concessions in order to achieve the bare minimum of what we’ve been demanding: Assurance of wage increases in the future and hazard pay.
Management said they wouldn’t agree to a wage scale but would agree to guaranteed minimum increases over the next two years. They also agreed to add in six job categories to the $500 COVID compliance bonus and add Case Managers to receive $250.
With this promising turn of events, we expressed our willingness to get an agreement that day. We said we would work all night if necessary. The union also brought in a mediator to help us work out the specifics.* Unfortunately, there were problems with their proposed raises, and they were resistant to making the raises take effect retroactively. They also weren’t making it clear that they would drop their demand for anti-worker language that would remove protections and limit our voice.** (scroll to the end for more info)
Nevertheless, after seeing such significant progress toward an agreement, we told management again that we’d work all day if necessary. They responded that they’d get back to us, and we each went to our private meetings in the early afternoon. We waited for over an hour and reached out to get their response, but their response was that they were done for the day.
We have attempted again and again to convey to Management the importance, and rationality, of our proposals. Our workers need to be respected, compensated and valued.
On Saturday, your Union, along with leaders in our community, showed up to demand just that. Outside of the new Solutions Center, we gathered to provide information to the public about our reasonable requests and stand in solidarity with our Union siblings across the city. It was an empowering day, with connections built between workers, neighbors, people we serve, and support from our community.
As we move forward, all we’re asking for is a fair contract that respects the work we do for the success of MHCD and the good of the community. We know we have the support of the community and our union brothers, sisters, and siblings.
Let management know we are standing in solidarity by calling Carl Clark’s office at (303) 504-3920 and asking them to work with us this Friday to achieve the contract we deserve.
* Management continues to state that they requested a mediator early in the process. This is because the mediator allows them to deny the workers’ proposals more easily. The question you should ask them is why it would take a mediator to provide the things that their workers are asking for. Mediators are traditionally used when workers and management are unable to communicate directly, and the bargaining committee would prefer to talk directly with management rather than through a mediator. Now that management is agreeing to the concepts that we’ve asked for; we’ve asked to bring in a mediator to work out the details.
**”Anti-worker” proposals include removing “requests will not be unreasonably denied” from various sections, such as flexible scheduling and bereavement leave; reducing protection against excessive workloads; and reducing rights during disciplinary investigations. These changes are not necessary and they are standard rights that should be strengthened, and not weakened.
Your Bargaining Committee,
SEIU Local 105