CEMA Shows Strength at the Board 
Jan 21, 2020

CEMA Shows Strength at the Board 

SEIU Spreads Lies and Engages in Anti-Union Activity

CEMA Shows Strength at the Board

CEMA showed up and spoke up at the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday the 14th with a tidal wave of maroon, crisply organized speakers and an impactful presentation to the Board of Supervisors.  Speakers shared recent examples of promoting to a loss of pay, the egregious reality of earning more on disability than while working due to SEIU/CEMA pension disparities, and vacancies that could not be filled since the CEMA position has less pay than the underlying SEIU one.  Our presentation offered solutions designed to secure further authority to settle the CEMA contact.

SEIU Attacks a Fellow Union, Falsely Alleges Racism 

In sharp contrast to CEMA’s professionalism and problem-solving approach, this week SEIU Leadership is going low in an anti-union smear against CEMA.  SEIU is desperately lashing out at CEMA to cover up its own failed strike and inability- after more than half a year of negotiating -to achieve their goals.

SEIU is framing their lack of progress as a racial issue and making an unfounded accusation of racism against the County.   They are attacking CEMA’s current offer claiming the County is offering rich, white, male managers a better deal than SEIU as stated by their Vice President at the January 13th Commission on the Status of Women meeting.  SEIU Leadership is messaging our local elected officials that CEMA is a majority white, male union. Their Facebook page further claims the offer to CEMA “hurts women and communities of color the most.”  Their fliers, also posted in the worksites, make similar claims.  They state that the Board of Supervisors, by failing to offer more to SEIU is intentionally harming the minority communities of color they represent.  SEIU has not one shred of truth in its irresponsible statements.  These are all flat out lies that chills and damages CEMA's contractual progress.

The truth is CEMA classic contributes 4x more to our pension benefit then SEIU does 

The truth is CEMA PEPRA contributes more than 2x more to our pension than SEIU does

The truth is CEMA is 64.9% female

The truth is CEMA is 70.8% people of color

The truth is CEMA received less than SEIU in a general wage increase last contract

The truth is CEMA pays more for healthcare than SEIU

The truth is CEMA promotees often lose hundreds of dollars per pay period for promoting from SEIU to CEMA

We can discuss parity:

When SEIU agrees to quadruple its pension contribution 

When SEIU agrees to pay more than CEMA for health care

When SEIU agrees to pay more than CEMA for OPEB

When SEIU promotes to another SEIU code to lose take home pay

When SEIU stops attacking a fellow Union 

Reality of SIEU’s Failed Messaging 

SEIU’s leadership and negotiating team have backed themselves into a corner with their messaging to their own membership.  Their leadership refuses to acknowledge the significant concession the County has made in their bargaining with SEIU to continue to allow SEIU to contribute less than half the standard legal minimum for their pension contribution.  This concession from the County is of enormous value to SEIU’s membership but it is unacknowledged and undiscussed in SEIU’s messaging.  SEIU classic members are contributing 3.931% to their pension.  The legal minimum for pension contribution is 8%.  SEIU 521 is stating that equity would be the 3% per year increases on offer to both CEMA and SEIU and a further increase equivalent to the 5% pension reduction offered to CEMA.  However, they have a similar offer.  They have an offer of 3% per year and a concession to continue paying 4% less than the legal minimum for their pension contribution.

Seen for what it is - SEIUs irresponsible attack on a fellow Union in no way benefits them and jeopardizes CEMA’s ability to secure a successful contract.  We will not allow this to succeed.  

The saddest part of SEIU leadership’s attack on a fellow Union is SEIU taking no responsibility for its failure to deliver on their promises.  SEIU’s lies about CEMA’s deal and lies about our demographics only deepens the error.

A Call to Action 

CEMA members, County Supervisors and Executives – we will be calling upon you to help clarify, educate and advocate for our own contract.  

CEMA members make certain you are registered on the CEMA website linked below and we will contact you with our next efforts.  Only members with a verified Union ID, employee number and current dues deduction will be able to register.    

CEMA Website

Friday the 24th CEMA is conducting a video recording of members aimed at furthering our contractual efforts.  Folks we want to film will represent the contractual issues we are trying to solve, specifically promotion to a loss of pay, hr delays and differential approval problems.  Please volunteer by contacting your business rep with the subject line:  VIDEO VOLUNTEER

CEMA had more members than ever at the Board of Supervisors demonstrating a strengthening commitment for a strong contract – with your continued support we will prevail.  

If SEIU wants to make all the sacrifices CEMA has in years past then, and only then, is it appropriate to claim unequal treatment. 

Signed by the CEMA Executive Board

Supplemental Information:

CEMA Demographics


Count of ID








Grand Total



Ethnic Group

Count of ID


American Indian/Alaska Native






Black/African American






Native Hawaiian/Oth Pac Island



Not Applicable



Two or More Races









Grand Total



Source : SCCO Demographic Information Request Response

SEIU Facebook Post January 16, 2020