“If nothing changes, there will be nobody left to do this work.”
In the face of Alameda County’s 2,611 vacant positions, county workers and community members will rally and picket Monday, February 13 at 11 a.m. at Lake Merritt Amphitheater (near 12th St. and Lake Merritt Blvd.)
Oakland, CA – To protest 2,611 vacant positions – nearly 25% of the entire County workforce – Alameda county workers and community members will picket on Monday, February 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lake Merritt Amphitheater in Oakland. The vacancy crisis, the workers say, is coupling with increased demands for services and causing dangerous backlogs in critical departments including Children and Family Services, Aging and Adult Services, Welfare Benefits Administration, Child Support Services, Healthcare Service, Mental Health Services, and WIC (Women, Infants and Children).
Sofia Muscatello, a Child Welfare Worker for Alameda County, says, “When a Child Welfare Worker leaves the Agency, their caseload is reassigned and those children and families are left in limbo trying to figure out who to contact for support. Constantly getting new workers can be draining and traumatic for children and families. When workers don’t receive the support they need, it is ultimately the children and families we serve who do not get the consistent support they deserve. If nothing changes, there will be no one left to do this work.”
Vacant positions keep valuable work from being done for the County’s most vulnerable residents, including children and elders. Hannah Joy Wirshing, a Child Welfare Worker, says, “With staffing as short as it is, it’s becoming nearly impossible to serve our community. I work with some foster families, and when they’re not getting reimbursed for fostering, it makes things so difficult for them and for the kids. We all want to do our part, but the County needs to do their part too and staff us properly so that we can get back to helping families.”
What: Staff Up Alameda County Rally & Picket
Who: Community leaders and Alameda County workers including Theresa Rutherford, SEIU Local 1021 President, Clarissa Doutherd of Parent Voices, and Keith Brown of OEA and the Alameda Labor Council
When: February 13, 2023, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Lake Merritt Amphitheater, Oakland (near 12th St. and Lake Merritt Blvd.)
Visuals: County workers and community members will be planting thousands of flags to represent the vacant positions unfilled by the County and not providing services to Alameda County residents