anyone have experience organizing extra help employees? what were the most important items for negotiations?

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Our union, SEIU, has been actively recruiting extra help with excellent resutls, 75% of the county's extra help pool have signed up. The biggest problem is when they go off list for 2 months, names disappear from the rolls and the numbers fluctuate from week to week. The library tends to use students who are not so concerned about benefits while they are going to school but other depts use regular people and these people will be on the payroll for years without accuring any benefits or retirement. Our bargaining proposals ask for health and retirement benefits, sick leave and vacation time for extra help. We are not able eliminate the classification as many depts rely on seasonal labor and so another bargaining point is to require dept heads to justify hiring extra help instead of permanent employees. We are still negotiating, no news on these proposals yet.
I'm glad you brought it up, it is a very big issue here. We used to use extra help only for vacation coverage, now we use extra help all the time and all admin has to say is they can't find qualified peopel. I wonder.
What is your experience in this area?
we have a campaign just beginning to start. it would seem that the most important issue would be a path to permanency since civil service requirements prevent EH from easily becoming permenent employees and so expereince long term (over ten years) are never given any benefits at all. basic benefits for EH will likely also be an issue.

how long is the process taking from organizing drive to securing a contract? (working with SEIU also.)
We are in the same place you are, just beginning organizing. We are also asking county to revise their tests for many positions that extra help fill but can't seem to gain permanent employment for even though they have been doing the job for years. Some depts are very resistant to controlling county use of extra help because of their seasonal workloads. We are trying to address the abuses not the use of extra help. The BOS has rejected all SEIU's proposals on the extra help issue.

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