Update on union contract negotiations – August 24, 2022
Humane Society Silicon Valley is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization that serves our community by saving lives and keeping families together. This work would not be possible without our strong team of 130 talented, passionate employees. Approximately 60 of these employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement with SEIU Local 521.
The existing contract between HSSV and SEIU expired on June 30, 2022. The National Labor Relations Board requires HSSV to abide by the terms of this contract until a new agreement is in place, even after the contract has expired. This means that by law, HSSV cannot make any changes to these employees’ compensation until a new collective bargaining agreement has been negotiated.
HSSV gave notice of intent to negotiate the agreement on March 24, more than three months in advance of the contract’s expiration. We have consistently communicated to our employees and to SEIU that our goal was to increase wages for all employees on July 1. To meet this goal, a new contract needed to be in place by June 30. HSSV emphasized our desire to work together with SEIU and make this happen.
SEIU representatives were unavailable to meet with HSSV until May 25, nine weeks after HSSV had initiated the process. At our second negotiations meeting on June 7, HSSV presented a wage proposal for consideration. During the next five meetings, several other issues were discussed, but SEIU did not respond to our wage proposal. The existing contract expired on June 30.
On August 2, eight weeks after receiving our initial wage proposal, SEIU provided a response. Hoping to speed up the process, HSSV presented a counterproposal during the same meeting. SEIU declined to respond during that meeting and as of today, August 24, HSSV has not received a response to this counterproposal.
HSSV has already provided pay raises to our 70 employees who are not covered by the collective bargaining agreement, and we are eager to do so for the remaining 60 members of our team. We continue to bargain in good faith, and we remain optimistic that a new agreement will be reached as soon as possible. Until then, HSSV remains legally prohibited from increasing the compensation of our employees who are covered by the collective bargaining agreement.