Big COVID victory even before launching aggressive Teamster agenda

The 2022 legislative session has kicked off and our union is moving an aggressive agenda to improve the lives of our members and their families. We have eight sponsored or co-sponsored bills which are summarized below. However, before I get into those, it’s important to mention a big victory that happened earlier this year.

We have worked very hard since the beginning of the pandemic to push for policies that protect workers from unnecessary exposure and to reduce negative economic consequences when workers need to protect themselves. To that enD-we have worked with the Governor’s office and the Legislature to make sure that employers are required to provide their workforce with sick leave to stop or slow the spread of COVID without requiring workers to make a choice between their health and a paycheck. 

In February, the Governor signed a new covid sick leave bill into law. Beginning February 19, full-time workers are entitled to 40 hours of leave to take care of themselves, a family member, or vaccine-related issues. Full-time workers are also entitled to an additional 40 hours of leave if they or a family member test positive for covid. Part-time workers are also entitled to both buckets of leave, however, the hours allotted are reduced based on an average hours worked formula. The law is retroactive back to January 1, 2022, so if unpaid qualifying leave was taken after that, the worker is entitled to reimbursement. If vacation, sick leave, or other personal leave was taken, the worker is also entitled to reimbursement.

2022 Teamster Sponsored Bills

Prevailing wages for construction on-hauling

AB 1851 by Assembly Member Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) would clarify that California law requires the payment of prevailing wage for on-hauling of materials for paving, grading, and fill onto a public works construction site.

Healthcare for striking workers

AB 1878 by Assembly Member Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) would ensure that striking workers and their families do not lose their healthcare during a strike by making them immediately eligible for Covered California, paid for by the state.

Database on waste and recycling franchises

AB 2048 by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) would create a state waste haul franchise agreement database so that all local franchise agreements for waste and recycling are easily accessible to the public.

Bargaining over transportation automation

AB 2441 by Assembly Member Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) would make the introduction of new technology, including automation, affecting bargaining unit work in public transit a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.

Alcohol delivery by employees only

AB 2896 by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) would require alcohol delivery from retail to consumer be performed by an employee rather than an independent contractor.

Changing education funding formula

SB 830 by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-Burbank) would change the way K-12 public education is funded from attendance-based to enrollment base, which would dramatically increase public education funding.

Penalties for public sector ULPs

SB 931 by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) would provide meaningful monetary penalties for unfair labor practices committed by a public sector employer.

Communication during emergencies

SB 1044 by Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) would prevent an employer from restricting an employee’s ability to communicate with family or leave a dangerous worksite during emergency conditions.