As we approach the end of my second year serving as your President, I would like to publicly and wholeheartedly thank the Santa Ana Chapter Board for their unceasing labors over those two years. They have donated hundreds of hours of
their own personal time, in an unheralded effort to serve your best interests in the workplace and the community. They have served you professionally and with integrity. I am proud to be associated with such a dedicated and honorable group. We are all in their debt!
This list of your Boards notable achievements is most impressive:
Communications & Public Relations – Chair: Monica Suter
- Created our own Santa Ana Chapter web site
- Created our own Santa Ana Chapter Facebook page
Bylaw Committee – Chair: Mark Kiss
- Established a priority goal to significantly improving Chapter bylaws to help guide our future SEIU leaders.
- Reevaluated the existing bylaws, Local bylaws, International bylaws, Roberts Rule of Order, and other documents.
- Created first draft by assembling from, that extensive collection of documents, some much improved bylaw language for our Chapter.
- Presently, the Board is reviewing that draft document.
- Once Board approves the draft, it will be sent to the Local’s legal department for review and counsel.
- After legal returns the bylaws, your Board will review comments and work to process the bylaws by way of Board approval.
- Following Board approval, the Elections Committee will send the bylaws for a vote of the Members for confirmation.
Retiree Medical Subsidy Committee – Chair: Nancy Robles
- Stopped the previous retiree medical trust from going bankrupt
- Successfully worked with our members, the City’s benefits coordinator, the Local, and our retirees to implement a new RHS (Retiree Health Savings Plan).
Negotiations Committee – Chair: Mike Lopez
- Members overwhelmingly ratified a contract with the City that included, but not limited to:
- 5% salary increase
- 1.25% salary increase dedicated to each members personal RHS account (PERS able)
- One time City contribution of $512,000 to RHS accounts
- Improved health care benefit by raising base City contribution to Kaiser
- Raised vacation cash out from 60 to 80 hours
- Eliminated City policy of not allowing grievances for oral warnings and written reprimands
Community Services & Special Events Committee – Chair: Sergio Verino
- Held two separate Member Appreciation special events. Hundreds of members and their families attended. All enjoyed music, dancing, food, and drinks while witnessing honors conferred on fellow members. They received awards for exceptional service to the community and the City. Colleagues who submitted the award nominations are appreciated as well.
- In-&-Out Burger Member Lunch at the Santa Ana Bowl. A moral building event which brought members together to enjoy burgers, fries, sodas. The committee arranged for everyone to collect lots of free smiles.
- Angels vs. Yankees Night at the Big A. Members once again came together to relax and get to know each other. There was some lively tail-gating and more excitement watching the Angels play the Yankees. BTW-the Yankees won.
- Santa Ana Youth Trip to Disneyland. Board Member Renee Hernandez asked the Board to sponsor 35 Santa Ana kids from the Santa Anita neighborhood to take a trip to Disneyland. Most of the kids came from lower income families and never had the pleasure of experiencing the “Magic Kingdom.” Events like this can expand a young person’s mind and help them see what is possible. That ability is a big key in their become upstanding citizens in our community. Thanks Renee!
- Santa Ana Pop Warner Cheerleaders National Competition. The Board supported our local youth football cheerleader squad to travel out of state to compete against other nationally ranked squads. Twenty-two Santa Ana young ladies participated. While they did not win the national championship, they benefited from a tremendous “life experience” they will never forget
- “Trunk or Treat” event with the Windsor Park Neighborhood Association. SEIU strengthened our relationship with the community by handing out candy to hundreds of neighborhood children.
Political Action Committee – Chair: Sergio Verino
- Conducted a Candidates “Town Hall” event. Most of the candidates running for City Council and Santa Ana Unified School District seats participated in this very well attended event. The New York Times, Register, Voice of OC, and other news outlets had journalists in attendance.
- The Chair worked continuously with elected officials and officials running for office. The PAC Chair also brought to the Board, well-researched recommendations on which candidates to support in the various races
Part-Time Committee – Chair: Renee Hernandez
- Worked closely with the Local to establish the Part-Time Employee Medical Trust. For the first time, the trust now provides part-time employees with financial assistance for qualified medical expenses.
Stewards Committee – Chair: Sid Pineda
- Worked with the Local’s Director of Training to a conduct annual Stewards Training workshop to enhance existing Stewards knowledge and to welcome new Stewards to the committee.
- Continues working with members on a variety of grievances throughout the City protecting employee rights.
Research Committee – Chair: Milly Lugo-Rios
- Assisted Med-Sub Committee with financial research and data collection.
- Established “Survey Monkey” account to conduct professional surveys of members and the community regarding important issues.
Safety Committee– Chair: Milly Lugo-Rios
- Mrs. Rios continues to take a lead role on the Civic Center homeless and Orange County Needle Exchange Program.
- Assists President with meetings with City Manager.
- Takes lead role meeting with City Manager staff developing strategies to eliminate work place hostile environment.
- Attends Civic Center (CC) Authority meetings and speaks out regarding persistent safety issues in the CC.
- Attends community meetings with community members and government officials in an effort to improve safety in the CC.
These highlights reflect some of the main accomplishments by the Board and the dedicated volunteers who helped by serving on committees these past two years. This being said, there is still much work to be done. Below are future goals I recommend the Board consider undertaking these next two years. Goals that will benefit the membership and our community:
- Community Coalition Committee: Establish a committee whose purpose is to build a coalition of active and politically influential community constituents, including but not limited to, non-profit organizations, neighborhood associations, community leaders, sport organizations, etc. Their mission is to become a voice for our membership and the community. The Park Ranger Program is an example of how, with the support of the community, our Union can have influence with politicians. In this case, the Union rallied several community leaders to save the Park Ranger Program.
- “In-Sourcing” & Contract Compliance Committee: Establish or broaden a committees purpose to: 1) identify work units who are believed to be more cost effective and beneficial to the community if the work is “in-sourced.” The committee will identify work units and perform “cost-benefit analysis” to “find the truth” as to whether or not the community/City would benefit by “in-sourcing,” having full-time staff perform specific work functions; and, 2) become familiar with City contract’s and monitor for appropriate compliance. As a contract administrator, I am well aware that contractor’s primary goal is to maximize profit. In this pursuit, many will not hesitate to “cut corners.” This committee can become a “whistleblower” when it is discovered contractors are not in full compliance with the contract
- Bylaw Committee: Continue the goal of strengthening the Chapter Bylaws by making them more comprehensive, clear, and concise and that make officers more accountable. In addition, begin working with each committee to develop policies and procedures (none presently exist) that help guide the current and future Board and committees in the carrying out of their duties
- Safety Committee: OSHA training and safety practice mandates are numerous. However, while City employees and their work units comply with OSHA training and practice mandates by spending countless hours attending OSHA safety training and drilling. Contractors may not be meeting OSHA safety training and practice mandates. This not only gives a contractor a competitive advantage (profit motivated), but, it puts their workers and the City at risk. The City is considered the “CE,” controlling employer. This means we are equally liable for a contractor’s safety negligence. Translating, this means if the contractor receives an OSHA fine (which are significant); the City will receive a fine equal to the negligent contractor. This committee shall identify contractors who are not OSHA compliance and “blow the whistle” to make sure they are brought into compliance.
- Community Services & Special Events Committee: Develop an annual schedule and budget to conduct: 1) member appreciation events; and, 2) fund raising events. The goal is to have fund raising events, at a minimum, offset the costs for member appreciation events. Fund raising events the committee have already discussed are member golf tournaments, casino night, Las Vegas turn-around’s, etc.
- Retiree Committee: Establish a committee primarily made up of our retirees whose purpose is the serve as volunteers for the other committees. Whether it is helping the Community Services and Special Events Committee, PAC Committee, Safety Committee, etc., our retiree volunteers can assist. For those retirees who have the time to serve, this can be a very worthwhile contribution to their fellow Union members.
In closing, thank you all for honoring me with the privilege of serving you these past two years. Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming elections, I am grateful that you entrusted the Board and I to rebuild our Union organization.
Respect * Integrity * Honesty * Courage