ACMEA/OE3 rank and file leaders Mike Wallace and Matt Katen lead ACMEA members from Zone 7 Water Agency in building a bridge of solidarity with fellow union members from UA 342, SEIU 1021 and IFPTE Local 21. Zone 7 Water Agency is responsible for securing and delivering a reliable supply of high quality water and an effective flood control system to the Livermore-Amador Valley of Alameda County. Over the past few contracts, all the unions have felt like Zone 7 has gotten the better of them. In some years, they received wage increases as low as 1%.
Early on, rank and file leaders, along with OE3 staff, knew that Zone 7 was determined to push our members to accept a subpar contract proposal. It was clear that OE3 needed to work and communicate with our brothers and sisters from the other represented classifications at Zone 7. OE3 lead the way in setting up meetings with the other unions. Throughout the negotiations, the four unions were communicating and exchanging information. The union lead by OE3 setting up joint meetings with executive leadership and securing commitments to establish joint Labor Management meetings to resolve issues as they come up.
Mike Wallace and Matt Katen even had time to organize new members and a new classification into the bargaining unit and OE3. Needless to say, Mike and Matt are showing their fellow ACMEA members what union activism looks like. Through their hard work and working with OE3 Public Employee staff, the bargaining team secured the richest agreement Zone 7 has given in years. They were able to bargain a 3-year agreement with a 3% increase per year. That is a total of 9% for the life of the MOU. This contract campaign laid the groundwork of solidarity that should pay dividends for years to come for ACMEA and other union members.
Over 60% of the membership voted and voted unanimously to accept the new MOU.