SEIU 1021

SF Supervisor Ahsha Safaí introduces ballot measure to address first responder shortage


San Francisco District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí joined nurses, 911 dispatchers, and other essential city workers outside of San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday, May 21, to announce a ballot measure to address the city’s shortage of first responders.

The plan, which would amend the SF City Charter, is intended to significantly improve the retention and recruitment of these essential workers through expanded benefits. It would allow permanent, full-time registered nurses to buy back time worked as per diem nurses for pension credits. It would also provide 911 operators with the same safety retirement benefits as other first responders.

“There’s been a large problem in relying on per diem and temporary nursing,” said Brittany Hewett, a registered nurse at SF General Hospital and member of the SEIU 1021 RN bargaining team, on ABC 7. ”A lot of our nurses who are full-time today have started out as temporary nurses, and it sometimes takes months to years to get that permanent position. This would represent a major shift in retention and also valuing the service these people have committed to our community.”

“This will help bring more 911 dispatchers on. We’re seriously hurting at 911,” said SEIU 1021 911 Dispatch Chapter President Burt Wilson

“When I went to go visit the site of 911 dispatchers, you could see it in their face and hear in their voice that they are overworked,” said Safaí. 

The measure will be on the San Francisco election ballot this November.