Why Union Membership Matters
Updated February 2023
- Union membership supports contract negotiations, representation, legal and legislative work that is conducted daily for YOU! Your raises, benefits, and any additional pay don’t just happen. It takes much research and a skilled negotiations team to bargain for improvements, and not just at contract time.
- CSLEA union membership is a career safety net, with five labor attorneys ready to assist you with questions and workplace situations that arise. One phone call, text or email and an attorney who represents your job classification is there to help, available free to you as a benefit of union membership. When an attorney calls your department on your behalf, your voice is HEARD.
- By maintaining union membership, state workers take a stand against those who want to take it all away, including pensions. CSLEA works to support legislators who support the working class and legislation that helps, not hurts, working families. This work cannot be done without a driven, supportive team of members who know there is strength in numbers.
CSLEA answers, “What has my union done for me?”
“There is a tremendous amount of money and effort being spent to encourage you and other state workers to stop union membership. Why? Special interest groups with deep pockets are working against you and want to take away all that your unions have accomplished to support good salaries, benefits, pensions and a secure future for you and your family. If unions become non-existent, workers lose their strength and their voices. Together, as union members we have a gigantic voice and these groups don’t want us to use it, they want to take away our strength as workers and weaken the middle class.” – Alan Barcelona, CSLEA President
Working on your behalf in 2022 and January 2023 –
- successfully bargained for a $1,500 pandemic-related bonus for all employees in Bargaining Unit 7,
- successfully maintained a $2.4 million Legal Defense Fund (LDF) that members contribute just $2.00 a month to,
- provided immediate legal assistance to CSLEA members at OIS scene in Chico,
- provided immediate response to union members’ requests for LDF assistance following on-the-job critical incidents,
- worked with DCA management to hammer out a compromise regarding Telework agreements,
- entered into agreement with DDS regarding compensation owed to peace officer-I staff at PDC,
- met with Department of Justice, Office of Human Resources to discuss a proposed pilot program which would add three Special Investigators (SIs) into selected units within DOJ,
- obtained complete rescission of an Adverse Action for a member,
- negotiated numerous disciplinary reductions for members,
- filed successful constructive medical separations for members,
- represented members in Administrative Investigations,
- awarded eight $1,000 scholarships to members’ children (with additional scholarships awarded by CSLEA affiliates),
- CSLEA supported, and the governor signed- Assembly Bill 1751 which extends workers’ compensation provisions relating to COVID-19 injuries until January 1, 2025 for critical workers, including members of law enforcement,
- CSLEA sponsored Senate Bill 284– which the legislature passed, however the governor vetoed. SB 284 would have extended PTSD presumption to active firefighters at DSH, DSS, Military Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also would have extended the presumption to DSH and DDS police officers as well as security officers of the Department of Justice. The bill would also have made that provision applicable to public safety dispatchers, public safety telecommunicators, and emergency response communication employees,
- met with DMV Investigations Chief Michel for discussion on telework and alternate work week schedules,
- addressed excessive heat concerns by LREs in Gardena,
- met with CHP Commissioner to discuss improvements to salary, recruitment and working conditions,
- won geographic transfer of DSS investigator,
- participated in joint labor management meetings,
- met with CDI to revisit in-office work policy,
- met with State Lands Commission regarding telework,
- conducted site representation classes to inform members of their rights,
- met with members in various job classifications to discuss concerns,
and each of CSLEA’s 18 affiliates have their own success stories reaching out and helping members with meetings to resolve issues, scholarship programs, assistance with memorial services, and orientations.
“In addition to the above, your union is available to you with just one phone call or email,” said CSLEA President Barcelona. “While you might decide to bring an issue or concern to the attention of a site representative first, our five attorneys are always available to you. They are familiar with your jobs, know your supervisors and have a positive working relationship with labor relation officers. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to our Board of Directors, our attorneys, or our staff.”
Remember: UNITED workers stand STRONG!
It’s that simple! Only united and together can workers stand up to the powerful and rich special interest groups that want to crush working people and pulverize the middle class. There are many reasons these groups don’t want you to belong to a union, they don’t want you to be heard, they don’t want you to have:
- a say,
- a pension,
- a five-day work week,
- an eight-hour workday with breaks,
- paid vacations and holidays,
- benefits that keep your family healthy and your household running,
- negotiation-ready professionals to increase your salary, represent your rights in the workplace, and hold supervisors and departments accountable.
“Unions work to negotiate better pay, benefits and working conditions, and to protect your pension,” said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. “There are the real answers! This is why opposition groups are spending large amounts of money to diminish union membership throughout California and across the country. We, as state workers, as employees, as a society working to build a strong middle class, can’t afford to let that happen.”
As a state worker, you know that legislators make decisions that are critical to your wages, jobs, and benefits. CSLEA has a powerful presence, is well-known and well-received at the State Capitol.
CSLEA thanks its members for their continued support and for recognizing the value of union membership!