Stanford and SEIU reach agreement; SEIU votes overwhelmingly to approve contract
Stanford University and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2007 have reached an agreement on a new five-year contract for the more than 1,200 union members who work on campus and at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
The union employees voted overwhelmingly in favor of approving the new contract last Thursday, Sept. 4.
Negotiation preparations began in March when the parties participated in "interest-based" negotiations training, during which they developed a deeper understanding of how to apply problem-solving techniques to the collective-bargaining process. Negotiations began July 1 and concluded Aug. 30.
During the negotiations the parties applied the training, remaining focused on understanding each other's contract priorities and achieving solutions that address both parties' concerns. "Discussions were very open and collaborative," said Gayle Saxton, the university's associate vice president of employee and labor relations. "The resulting contract addresses all key issues raised, with positive outcomes for both parties."
The president of SEIU Local 2007, Paul Regalado, said, "We are proud, along with all of the workers, management and staff that work for the university, to have been able to put in place a contract that will not only work to help improve our daily lives here at Stanford, but also help sustain the ability to maintain an enjoyable experience for the students."
SEIU represents service and technical workers at the university. Highlights of the new contract include:
- Across-the-board raises of 14 percent over the next five years for all union employees, beginning with a 3 percent raise and a $300 lump-sum payment in September 2014.
- Improvement of the Medical Contribution Assistance Program, a program that provides additional health care contributions to qualified employees with families.
- Vacation accrual adjustment in 2017 for all new workers and those workers who have accruals below 240 hours, to align with all university staff; those union workers with over 240 hours in August 2017 will be grandfathered at their present vacation accrual cap.
- Commitment by the university and SEIU to upgrade and update all union job classifications.
- Realignment of the salaries of specific grounds workers, and agreement to review other classifications for possible adjustments.
- Significant improvement to the grievance process and the understanding of grievances as a problem-solving tool. The process was revamped to improve communication and cooperation at all levels.
- A strong mutual commitment to ongoing labor-management cooperation.