Tag Archives: San Francisco

People with Developmental Disabilities and Their Service Providers Call on Gov. Brown to Restore Funding

People with developmental disabilities and their service providers rally outside the California State Building in San Francisco on Thursday, May 15.

People with developmental disabilities and their service providers rally outside the California State Building in San Francisco on Thursday, May 15.

Gov. Jerry Brown has ignored people with developmental disabilities in his budget. They, along with their service providers, feel betrayed. Budgeted at 1990 levels, and with over $1 billion cut by the state from their bottom line, California’s DD system is on the verge of collapse—and Jerry Brown has proposed doing next to nothing to save it.

“The clients we serve don’t progress because funding has been cut, and we who provide services can’t make ends meet,” says Gary Gregerson, a direct service professional who has worked for over 17 years at the Arc of San Francisco, an agency that provides training in independent living, job coaching and employment placement, and recreation to adults with cognitive and intellectual disabilities. “I love what I do, but I have thought about changing careers. I can’t continue to live on $30,000 a year.”

Adults with developmental disabilities and their service providers rallied outside the California State Building in San Francisco on Thursday, May 15, to call attention to this serious problem–and to demand that Gov. Jerry Brown address it in his budget.

Gov. Jerry Brown campaigned on promises to restore funding to public services. SEIU 1021 endorsed him and campaigned for both him and his initiative, Prop 30. However, he seems to have forgotten people with developmental disabilities. His current budget proposals do nothing to restore funding to a system that has endured over $1 billion in cuts and is underfunded by over 30% annually.

All individuals in California with developmental disabilities (DD) such as autism, cerebral palsy and cognitive disabilities are guaranteed access to services to help them lead full, productive lives in the community through the Lanterman Act of 1969.

A network of 21 nonprofit Regional Centers, funded by the state and federal grants, connects these individuals and their families with the services best suited to their needs, and pays the service provider agencies for those services.

Three decades of direct funding cuts accompanied by unfunded mandates have resulted in a system that can no longer afford to recruit and retain qualified service providers or case managers and that cannot afford to meet mandated staffing ratios. This severe underfunding has not only caused unmanageable case loads, wait lists for services and deterioration of the quality of services, it has also jeopardized federal grants the system depends upon just to stay afloat.

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Hundreds of SEIU 1021 Members Mark Tax Day with Protest of Weakening of Vital Services

Over 1000 city workers, nonprofit workers and community allies rallied at City Hall, marched to Twitter and then returned to City Hall on April 15.

Over 1000 city workers, nonprofit workers and community allies rallied at City Hall, marched to Twitter and then returned to City Hall on April 15.

Over 1,000 San Francisco City workers, nonprofit workers and residents marked Tax Day on April 15 with a major protest of the weakening of vital social services and of the increase in income inequality in the City under Mayor Lee’s economic initiatives.

As part of the protest, 24 persons were arrested at San Francisco City Hall for performing acts of civil disobedience.

Prior to the arrests, protestors marched along the Mid-Market corridor, passing by the corporations that have enjoyed hundreds of millions of dollars in tax giveaways under Mayor Lee, with a stop in front of Twitter headquarters.  The march ended with a rally at City Hall.

Protestors cited significant funding problems for vital services such as 911 dispatch and San Francisco General Hospital as a direct result of the giveaway of hundreds of millions in City revenue to wealthy corporations.  The undermining of these services hurts working families in San Francisco already struggling with the problem of economic inequality.   Working and poor people are now being pushed out of the City in record numbers due to evictions, rising cost of living, and unaffordable housing.

“Mayor Lee’s San Francisco just doesn’t work for a lot of San Franciscans anymore,” said Larry Bradshaw, a paramedic and Vice President of SEIU 1021, who was among those arrested for civil disobedience.  “We see the results of Mayor Lee’s tax policy: more inequality for working people and less safe healthcare for everyone.”

The protest follows significant patient safety concerns raised by caregivers at two San Francisco institutions earlier this month.

Registered nurses and caregivers earlier this month decried the patient care problems caused by under-funding of the public health and under-staffing of nurses.  They reported that were no shifts in the year 2013—exactly zero—with adequate numbers of nurses and other caregivers at the San Francisco General Emergency Room. On every single shift, the City violated its own safe-staffing guidelines, as well as California’s staffing ratios.  Patient outcomes directly suffer when they do not have adequate access to a nurse.  The situation is so dire that patients may not even have access to the Emergency Room at San Francisco General.  In 2013, for at least part of every single day, patients were diverted away from the ER due to a lack of staffing.

“There is a culture of chaos at San Francisco General and in the way nurses are managed,” said Dan Merier, RN, who works at SF General.  “Patient outcomes are suffering.  We need to fully fund and fully staff our hospitals.  Any one of us could end up in the ER at any time.”

9-1-1 dispatchers at the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management criticized a culture of delay for emergency calls in the City, noting that California law requires 90 percent of all emergency calls to be answered within 10 seconds.  Due to City under-funding, only 60 per cent of emergency calls in San Francisco are answered within 10 seconds.

“When you call 911, there should be operators to take your call,” said Ron Davis, who has been an emergency dispatcher in San Francisco for 13 years. “We just can’t wait 30 seconds, 45 seconds, or longer for a life-threatening emergency.  San Francisco needs a safe and efficient emergency system for our patients.”

SEIU 1021 has also filed a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage in the City for all workers to $15 per hour by 2017. This is a key plank in SEIU 1021′s larger program to reduce economic inequality in the City, along with housing, healthcare, and transportation.

See our press coverage here:

SF Chronicle (Front page): “S.F. tax-day protest marches on Twitter”

 
SF Examiner: “Mayor’s San Francisco doesn’t work for everyone”
Op-ed by SEIU 1021 VP Larry Bradshaw
 
Gawker
 

 

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Action Alert: Tax Day Mega-Rally & March TUESDAY, APRIL 15!

SF rally for website 2

Working families are being pushed out of San Francisco at record rates.  Those that remain struggle with an ever-higher cost of living.  Mayor  Lee’s San Francisco doesn’t work for a lot of us.

That’s why SEIU 1021 filed a ballot initiative last week raising the minimum wage to $15 for all San Franciscans by 2017. It’s part of our larger platform to tackle economic inequality in the City.  That includes wages, housing, healthcare, and transportation.

It includes fair pay for the city’s own workers – and enough staffing to keep San Franciscans healthy and safe. But economic inequality is the defining issue of our time, and it’s bigger than just one labor contract.

JOIN US TUESDAY, APRIL 15, at 4 PM for a rally outside City Hall. We will then march to Twitter to demand they forgo their $56 million tax break. The City needs the revenue to fund the important community services our members working for the City and County and for city-contracted nonprofits provide, and to fund reasonable wages that keep up with the skyrocketing cost of living in the Bay Area.

Economic inequality is the issue of our times. It is time for City Hall and Mayor Lee to come stand with us in our fight to make San Francisco livable for everyone.

 

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Notice of SF City-Wide Bargaining Team Elections (Oct. – Dec. 2013)

Dear SF City Wide members:

The current contract between SEIU 1021 Citywide and the City & County of San Francisco expires June 30, 2014. Our first deadline is to complete Bargaining Team elections by Dec. 9.

Nominate yourself or someone you know in your chapter that will represent your values during 2014 bargaining. Download the Election Notice and submit a nomination form.

Nominations must be faxed to Tiya Thlang at (415) 431-6241 or emailed to Tiya.Thlang@seiu1021.org. Nominations must be received by October 25, 5PM.

Download here:  SF City Wide Bargaining Team Election Notice (Oct.-Dec. 2013)

SF City Wide Bargaining Team Election Notice (Oct.-Dec 2013) SF City Wide Bargaining Team Election Notice

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Kaiser is gouging SF residents and employees; Kaiser is probably gouging others, too

Kaiser stop draining SF tax payer dollars!

Kaiser stop draining SF tax payer dollars!

(See event photos here: Kaiser stop draining San Francisco tax payer dollars)

Dear SEIU 1021 members:

SEIU Local 1021 is committed to maintaining both Kaiser and Blue Shield as healthcare options for our members. We are also committed to keeping healthcare affordable for our members and will oppose unwarranted and unjustified rate increases by any healthcare insurance provider.

Our union has taken on the fight for more affordable healthcare.

In San Francisco, we are challenging Kaiser’s rate increase, which would gouge San Francisco for an additional $15 Million — despite the fact that Kaiser patients are healthier and require fewer services. Kaiser has so far refused to justify this rate increase.

From 2010- 2012, Kaiser has charged HSS $87 million more than it actually cost to provide services.  That’s a 13% percent profit margin, far above the Blue Shield two percent profit pledge.  Now, Kaiser demands an additional $15 million dollars for 2014 that they refuse to justify.

While SEIU Local 1021 members and SF residents struggled and made sacrifices to get through the recession, Kaiser banked over $2 billion in profits last year. That’s billions in profits while union members, taxpayers, and residents suffered cuts in wages, benefits, and city services.

We ponder:  If Kaiser and other healthcare insurers are gouging city employees, it is likely they are gouging all of us. In SF, we’re fighting for a solution to runaway health costs for everyone. Transparency is the first step.

Here are two things you can do for a more affordable and transparent Kaiser:

• We need members to come to a full Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, July 23 at 2PM in room 250.

• Call Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson– 510-271-2659 –to demand that they negotiate in good faith and provide greater transparency in their rate setting, rebate $11 Million to the City for their unjustified rate increase, and withdraw their opposition to Senate Bill 746 that would establish Kaiser transparency.

In unity,

Larry Bradshaw, SEIU 1021 VP of San Francisco, Paramedic at the SF Fire Department and a Kaiser member for over 25 years

Karen Joubert, SEIU 1021 VP of Representation working at Laguna Honda Hospital and a Kaiser member for over 49 years.

PS.  Read more about the unjustified Kaiser rate increase here:

SF Chronicle: Rate increase creates criticism of Kaiser

http://www.sfchronicle.com/health/article/Rate-increase-creates-criticism-of-Kaiser-4669119.php

CBS San Francisco: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/07/11/sf-supes-urged-to-refuse-to-kaiser-rate-increase-for-city-workers/

SF Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/city-mulling-health-insurance-options-as-kaiser-rates-increase/Content?oid=2507080

SF Chronicle: http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/S-F-Supes-panel-delays-vote-on-Kaiser-rate-4658217.php

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SEIU 1021 and community supporters halt Kaiser’s $15 million rate increase to San Francisco taxpayers—for now.

Karen Joubert VP

See event photos here: Kaiser stop draining San Francisco tax payer dollars

(SAN FRANCISCO—July 10, 2013) SEIU Local1021 rocked San Francisco City Hall today! A wave of San Francisco nonprofit workers, nurses, healthcare workers, museum guards, custodians, retirees and community allies— testified in favor to stop Kaiser’s unjustified $15 million rate increase allocation to the SF budget.  SEIU 1021 members and allies held signs that urged SF supervisors to stop Kaiser from draining SF taxpayer dollars—and they did!

SF Budget and Finance Committee Supervisors Eric Mar and John Avalos voted 2 to 1 to send Kaiser’s $15 million rate increase back to the Health Services System (HSS) Board for further consideration. Committee Chair Mark Farrell, a member of the HSS Board, was the only vote to recommend the rate increase to the full Board of Supervisors for approval.

HSS board has one week to reevaluate Kaiser’s rate increase.

For months, the HSS Board asked Kaiser for data to justify a 5.25% increase in the 2014 premium. Kaiser refused.

While Kaiser thrives under the cover of “proprietary” — reporting annual profits of $2 billion since 2009 — SF had to cut back on vital services in a recession caused by corporate greed. SEIU 1021 members and other workers had to give up wage increases and are paying more and more for benefits.

“Enough is enough.  Kaiser’s failure to report and refusal to negotiate are egregious and negatively impact all SEIU members, other workers, City taxpayers, and the City budget, said Karen Joubert,” SEIU Local 1021 VP of Representation and Laguna Honda Hospital Employee.

Public Flyer_Kaiser Draining SF Tax Payer Dollars 

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Local 1021 members fight cuts to safety net services

UnknownMore than 200 San Francisco city, nonprofit workers and their clients took over the steps of San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday to fight against cuts to safety net services that include homelessness prevention, HIV/AIDS health services and mental health services.

There are 50 nonprofits that are being threatened with closures or severe underfunding that would leave thousands of San Francisco residents without the critical health care they need. While the city controller says there is a $96 million surplus, the Department of Public Health is proposing cuts to its budget that would result in a $25 million loss in nonprofit services for the city’s most vulnerable, low-income and disenfranchised residents.

About a dozen speakers from members of the Board of Supervisors to union and nonprofit leaders spoke, including Local 1021 member leader Karen Joubert, San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson and Irma Nunez from the Coalition on Homeless.

“This year, we have a surplus. The choices we have as a city about how we balance our budget is vastly different than in the past,” said Supervisor John Avalos. “The city has more money to move around, and we shouldn’t be cutting these vital services that people are depending on.”

Unknown-2The low-income elderly, the developmentally disabled, HIV/AIDS patients as well as children and families depend on these 49 nonprofits — in danger of losing some or all funding — to provide them with health and social service programs.

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions go into effect, safety net service providers will play an even larger role to the increasing number of patients who need preventative care. Yet the city is undercutting the goals of the ACA by underfunding or cutting funds completely from these programs.

These nonprofit programs and services proposed for cuts actually strengthen the safety net to help prevent the chronically ill from returning to Emergency Rooms, costing the community more money, and creating a wider service gap for the rich and poor.

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SEIU Local 1021 Pay Equity fight gaining momentum across Northern California

Local 1021 Pay Equity campaign reaches front page of the San Francisco Examiner

Local 1021 Pay Equity campaign reaches front page of the San Francisco Examiner

Hard-working women of SEIU Local 1021 slapped on fake mustaches and gathered at San Francisco City Hall to protest Mayor Ed Lee’s gender equity challenge to the private businesses.

Many Local 1021 members believe it’s a double standard for Mayor Ed Lee to challenge private business on workplace equality when city officials were planning to cut the wages of job positions filled by women people of color while leaving the pay of many workers in classes held predominantly by white and male workers untouched.

The wage cuts impact licensed vocational nurses, eligibility workers, child support workers and many more.

“I hope Mayor Lee leads by example,” said Brenda Barros, who works at San Francisco General Hospital. “The same behavior he’s complaining about in the private industry, it’s happening in the public sector.”

San Francisco has been a leader in pay equity dating back to the 1980’s when female workers’ salaries were brought in line with their male counterparts. Now the city officials want to reverse history.

Click here to read Local 1021 Pay Equity story in the San Francisco Examiner

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JCC ratifies contract with wage and benefit improvements

SEIU Local 1021 members working for the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of San Francisco ratified a new contract this week that includes substantial wage increases and improvements in health care.

Under the agreement, JCC workers will receive nearly 10 percent wage increases over three years and the employer will increase its contribution to dependent healthcare.
JCC represents approximately 150 non-management and non-custodial staff working more than 20 hours per week. About half of the unit is made up of teachers working for the organization’s many preschool and after-school programs.
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Join Us at the Pay Equity Press Conference on National Equal Pay Day for Women

Pay Equity Press Conference

On April 9, National Equal Pay Day, we will join working women for a noon Press Conference to demand equal pay for women on San Francisco City Hall Steps. Across America, wages women earn are lagging behind men. In recent studies, women earn 75 cents to a man’s dollar. While other metropolitan cities are adopting equal pay laws, San Francisco is going in reverse.

After two decades of Pay Equity gains, SF City Administrators insist on cutting the wages of too many classifications historically occupied by women and people of color, while leaving the pay of many workers in classes held predominantly by white and male workers untouched. Join US at our press conference and lend your voice for Equal Pay For Equal Work for women and people of color.

WHAT: Pay Equity Press Conference on National Equal Pay Day for Women
WHEN: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
WHERE: San Francisco City Hall Steps, Polk Street Entrance
TIME: 12 PM -1 PM

For more information contact the Member Resource Center: 1 (877) 415-1021.

Download the press conference flyer

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