A Proud History

Public Employees Union Local #1 has advocated and worked to improve the wages, benefits and working conditions of our members and to raise the standard of living of all working people in our community since 1985.  We maintain a strong presence during difficult financial times and work to prevent layoffs whenever possible.  As a member you become a part of this important history as we continue this endeavor. 


History of Local #1

Public Employees Union, Local 1 was founded in 1941 as the Contra Costa County Employees Association. As a public employees’ organization, Local 1 made history by being a pioneer of workers’ rights before government workers in California had the right to collectively bargain. California public employees didn’t get collective bargaining rights until 1968, nearly three decades after Local 1’s founding.

Throughout the 1960s, Local 1 held many of the first public sector strikes in California. Local 1 became one of the first unions in history to negotiate binding arbitration for its members. It also developed a highly effective political action program and held immense political power through much of the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Local 1 expanded and thrived, adding its own affiliates in El Dorado, Sutter, and Yuba counties.

In January of 2014, Local 1 welcomed employees who work for Merced County and the Merced Courts to the family.

Local 1 has long advocated for its members and the vital services they provide to the community. Never in its 70 plus year history have those services and the members of our community who provide them been under attack as they have been in recent years. Local 1 will continue to meet these challenges as it has met challenges in the past, with vigor and passion, guided by a commitment to our community.


Local #1 Affiliates with AFSCME

In 2016, Local 1 membership voted overwhelmingly to approve a direct affiliation with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME),  joining in the collective strength of 1.6 million public sector employees across the nation.

Local 1’s offices allow us to provide excellent service to our members throughout Northern California.


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