SEIU 100
Arkansas Victories


SOME VICTORIES AND CAMPAIGN WORK: 1993 to PRESENT

State employee victories

Grievance Procedure: In 1993, Local 100 members held news conferences and marched on the legislature and the Governor's office to win a grievance procedure for state employees. Since then, we've won many grievances--reversing terminations, and suspensions, getting write ups removed, winning back pay, getting illegal policies changed. The current administration systematically changes language in policy each time we win. We¹re bringing this to the attention of legislators, arguing that a bargaining law is needed to stop it.

Overtime Pay: When staff at Benton Services Center were not paid for their half hour lunch break, Local 100 brought workers together and they sued the state. They won, and received back pay for the overtime they'd worked.

Stopped Worker Displacement: Local 100 won language in the welfare reform law which requires workfare participants placed in state jobs to be paid the same benefits as state employees.

Health and Safety: Local 100 members have worked on health and safety issues at worksites. At the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, housekeepers pressed for and won rubber gloves. Members have gotten unhealthy office spaces reviewed, and have succeeded in being moved to new, healthier office spaces. Members with carpal tunnel now have special chairs and equipment because of the union.

Job Protection: In the 1997 session, we got language in the Welfare Reform Law which required that TANF workers be paid he same as their coworkers at state jobs.

Fair Pay: Union members who have done the same work, but have been paid less than others at their jobs have demanded job audits, and won raises as a result of their findings.

AAISIS: When Arkansas became the first state in the country with a new computer system called AAISIS, thousands of state employees and Personal Care Aides didn't get paid on payday. Thousands of direct deposits were done late. Many were for the wrong amounts. Personal Care Aides who'd signed up for direct deposit got their checks mailed instead. Most workers didn¹t get pay stubs--so they had no way of knowing what deductions were made, what taxes were paid, or how much sick and annual leave they'd accrued. Local 100 members moved a petition with the following demands the Monday after the paycheck fiasco began:
1) Pay employees on pay day.
2) Provide pay stubs instead of telling people to look on the computer at work.
3) Agree to write a letter to banks and utility companies asking them to freeze late charges and shut off notices of all state employees and contract workers who did not receive their pay on payday.
4) For employees who don¹t want direct deposit, deliver checks to worksites on payday--as they¹d been doing, rather than mailing them to workers' homes.

Members came to the capital to meet with the budget director, they testified before committees, and got a good deal of press attention. As a result, our leadership got a private meeting with Governor Huckabee in his office, at which they laid out our demands. He agreed to these demands, but with PCA checks, not others, being delivered to worksites. He agreed to do a follow-up interview on KABF with our leadership, which he did.

Personal Care Aide victories and campaign work

Pay raises: The PCA campaign, which the International subsidized, was our first statewide campaign in Arkansas. We used the SEIU Local 880 model--with Speak Outs, news conferences, leadership training, rallies, lobby days and marches to successfully win pay raises for these homecare workers in 1999 and 2001 (the legislature only meets every other year.) In1999, we won wage increases of from 40 cents to $2 an hour, with new salaries ranging from $5.60 to $9.20 per hour. In 2001, although the Health Department had a $7 million deficit, members won a 15 cent/hour raise. This campaign has given us contacts with legislators in all but two counties, and has made it possible to be real players in the state legislature, where constituent lobbying has the greatest impact.

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