In a first-of-a-kind victory, the custodians, specialists, coordinators, maintenance workers, police officers and support staff of the Bay Area’s Contra Costa Community College District received a higher wage increase than faculty and managers, earning some long overdue recognition after an arduous eight months of negotiations.
It was the first time that the folks who keep Contra Costa’s facilities and campuses thriving saw greater gains than faculty, a testimony to the vital role they play.
The new, two-year agreement for members of Public Employees Union/AFSCME Local 1 was achieved because Contra Costa workers banded together to fight for much-needed improvements to their contract. They won a 3 percent salary increase, improved language to present at new employee orientations, a path for salary increases for the most senior workers, an $1,100 bonus for all workers.
“Together, we advanced the top three concerns of our members: increasing salaries, preventing increases in benefits, and focusing on longevity pay,” said Jeanie Smith, a senior computer and network specialist. “Together, we stood up, we stood strong together, and we persevered.”