This month, 450 members of the Santa Rosa City Employees Association (SRCEA) voted to become full Teamsters 856 members.
The members are technical, professional, and clerical workers who serve the City of Santa Rosa as code enforcement, IT, administrative technicians, customer service representatives, civil engineering technicians, building inspectors, waste water operators, parking operations aids, and more.
“Through their leadership, the SRCEA Board have demonstrated a track record of providing city employees in Santa Rosa with strong representation,” said Local 856 Secretary-Treasurer/Principal Officer Peter Finn. “As affiliates, Local 856 representative, Matthew Finnegan has worked with the Board to win contract improvements in the City. As full Teamsters 856 members, we look forward to deepening the existing relationship and working shoulder-to-shoulder with the entire membership.”
For four years, the SRCEA has had a successful relationship with Local 856, but last year after negotiating one of their strongest contracts with the City with the help of the union’s professional negotiators, the wheels began to turn on becoming Teamsters.
“I’m excited to present the opportunity to become fulltime members,” SRCEA President Michael Reynolds said last year. “It’s important for our careers and our financial futures. This rewarding contract gives us the opportunity to show our members the true benefits of being full members.”
In addition to their membership, SRCEA also voted to join the Teamsters Local 856 Health & Welfare Trust Fund.
“In general, we will see an increase in benefits at a significantly lower cost,” said Steve Brady, a senior environmental specialist for Santa Rosa and SRCEA board member. “A reduction in our premium costs will save both our members and the City money.”
For members like Sara Roberts, an SRCEA Board member and administrative secretary, becoming full members was an obvious choice.
“It’s been a very positive thing having Teamsters on our side,” she said. “I really enjoy reading the newsletter and seeing that even the smaller units are getting things done, because that’s how unions are supposed to work.”
As full Teamsters, Santa Rosa members look forward to adding to the strength and power they’ve already built for workers in the City. “The economic outlook in the city is different now than it’s been in the past, and we look forward to providing members strong representation to protect what’s important to them — wages and benefits.”
“Our board is very excited about this transition and it was reflected by our membership with a 92% vote for full membership in the Teamsters,” said Mike. “Full representation will provide long-term assurance of professional representation for our members and strengthen our commitment and ability to meet the needs of the community, our city administration and city council.”