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Season 4, Episode 130

SEIU Local 99 members get a much-deserved pay raise with new contract

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Guest Name:

Conrado Guerrero

Guest Website:

https://www.seiu99.org/ 

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Conrado Guerrero, President of the Service Employees International Union Local 99 joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the Local’s fight to get a new contract with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Guerrero also talked about his journey to lead Local 99.

In March 2023, after 13 months of contract negotiations, the 50,000 members of SEIU Local 99 walked off the job on a three-day strike for better wages. Guerrero explained how both sides held a number of negotiations, but the union was told no when the topic of wages came up. During the strike, the school district continued its poor negotiations, which caused talks to restart each day they met, Guerrero said. It was only on the final day of talks that the school district accepted a 30 percent pay raise to be given incrementally over the next year, including backpay to the workers. 

He was originally challenged to get involved with his union by one of the union reps. After attending meetings and finding value in the union, Guerrero decided to share the union’s values. In 2014, he ran for Vice President of Local 99 and won. Halfway through his first term, the president was removed from office, and Guerrero became president. Since taking over as president, Guerrero has worked to showcase Local 99’s value at the bargaining table. 

Many of Local 99’s members are 10-month workers, such as bus drivers, custodians and childcare workers. These workers only make about $25,000 a year and need two to three jobs to make ends meet. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many Local 99 did not receive pay raises. Over the next two years, the members received up to 3 percent raises, which was not enough to keep up with inflation, Guerrero said. Local 99 will deal with more issues in the next negotiation, but this wage victory has members of their bargaining team excited for the next round of negotiations. 

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.

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America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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