On Friday, June 19, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff announced she would not implement cuts to jobs and services. After a long-fought campaign, our members beat back the Mayor’s attack.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Oakland administration claimed that their budget was broken, and the only way they could fix it was by slashing services to public, cutting the hours of the city’s so-called ‘temporary, part-time’ workforce, and possible mass layoffs of permanent workers.
This pandemic has exposed our nation’s – and California’s – greatest weaknesses: inequality, racism, exclusion of immigrants, and the economic vulnerability of the vast majority of people, whether poor, working class, or middle class.
We cannot pass a budget that reproduces this injustice. Click here to send an email telling your CA legislator to pass a recovery budget for all.
SEIU frontline workers went from being invisible – to being “essential” – and now they’re on the chopping block. That’s not right.
We’re asking for a budget that:
- Generates new revenue from large corporations and the wealthy
- Includes no trigger cuts – this is a bad idea from the past and must not be repeated
- Includes no cuts that negatively impact working communities, low-income families, and communities of color
- Includes all immigrant workers and families regardless of status in our healthcare and economic safety nets
We need a bold, new approach – investing in our frontline communities who have risked so much to keep us safe AND asking for those who have benefitted the most from our economy to step up and contribute more. The time for courageous action is NOW, not next year. We can’t allow our state to kick the can down the road.
“We need the revised estimated expenditures that we have asked for weeks on end to have transparency, to have a dialogue, to get a real gasp of what the city’s financial position is,” said Kendra Bruno, a city waste diversion specialist and Local 1021 member. “This is not a game to us; this is about protecting the community and the level of services we provide.”
On May 27, Napa City officials formally delayed the implementation of 71 planned layoffs after workers and community allies organized a digital press conference to call out officials’ inflated financial reports and divisive communication tactics.
Napa members’ fight continues. In the past few weeks, members started posting yard signs on their lawns to advocate for their jobs by urging the City Council to “Save Napa Parks and Recs”.
You can stand against cuts with our fellow members by taking one minute to sign the online petition today. So far we’ve collected over 8,350 signatures.
As Oakland’s strength is being tested by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Libby Schaaf has attacked city workers. First, she issued pre-emptive layoff notices to a thousand so-called “temporary, part-time” workers, many of whom have worked for Oakland for years. Then, she proposed weeks of furlough days and postponing wage increases. At the same time, she was busy appointing her cronies to high-paid positions in the City Administrator’s office.
City of Oakland workers, together with IFPTE Local 21 members and community representatives from groups including ACCE Action, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), and Oakland Rising came together to protest the Mayor’s cruel cuts in a creative, safe way that observed social distancing precautions by decorating their cars with posters and shirts and forming a car caravan to drive around Oakland’s Lake Merritt on the evening of Tuesday, May 26.
Lina Hernandez, a temporary, part-time library worker, said “I’m a young parent in Oakland’s sixth district, and I’m a proud Oaklander, and until recently, I was a proud Oakland city employee. But I have recently received a layoff notice. I’m one of the city’s roughly one thousand ‘temporary, part-time’ workers. I’ve been with the city for four years. That doesn’t feel temporary to me.”
As the impending economic impact the COVID-19 outbreak will have on our communities comes into focus, we have seen many employers already calling for cuts to services and staff. We know there are difficult times ahead, but many of our communities have not yet fully recovered from the last recession. Cutting services further and not safeguarding against privatization would be devastating for millions, including SEIU 1021 members.
Mayor Libby Schaaf recently said on KTVU Channel 2 that she stood for “people before profits.” This is just not true, as our temporary, part-time co-workers who were just issued layoff notices can prove.
We need to hold the Mayor and the City administrators to their words. That’s why on Tuesday, May 26, SEIU 1021 & IFPTE 21 members will take a car caravan around Lake Merritt to say #NoCutsToCityServices during COVID-19.
Join us at 5:30 pm in the parking lot next to the Lucky’s Supermarket at 207 E 18th St. We want to be visible and show our unity, so we will have signs for your back side windows, or you can use a purple shirt. We will be observing all social distancing guidelines.
On May 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 3 trillion dollar HEROES Act relief legislation as the U.S. coronavirus death toll reached 90,000. HEROES would provide much-needed relief to public jurisdictions across California facing budget shortfalls including those employing SEIU 1021 members.
The legislation must still pass the Senate if it is to become law. Tell Congress: Pass the HEROES ACT. Members of the Senate need to hear our loud demand to #ProtectAllWorkers NOW. They must put working people first.
The HEROES Act Will Authorize:
- $1T for State and Local Governments
- $200B in hazard pay for essential workers
- $75B for testing & contact tracing
- Up to $6K per family in direct payments.
SEIU 1021 and SF Supervisor Matt Haney Secure, Donate and Distribute Thousands of Pieces of PPE for City Workers
Thousands of masks and gowns were delivered to members across San Francisco on May 13. SEIU 1021 secured 10,000 masks for workers throughout northern California, and Supervisor Matt Haney donated over 5,000 masks and 1,500 gowns to SF workers.
“Today we lead by example. Supervisor Matt Haney and our Union have secured around 10,000 masks and gowns for front line workers. We challenge leaders in local governments, business CEOs, and tech titans to use their connections to secure PPE for frontline workers providing essential services to the public,” said Theresa Rutherford, VP of SF and CNA at Laguna Honda Hospital.
The Governor of California signed a new executive order regarding Child Welfare Services. It will allow county child welfare agencies and probation departments to perform necessary functions using alternative processes other than face-to-face interactions. This includes allowance for a 60-day waiver to allow for flexibility in the emergency placement of foster youth and ensures that foster youth have access to critical programs and technology by verifying foster care status for foster youth and wards of the juvenile court whose cases are pending.
The California Department of Public Health has issued a waiver for certification renewals of Home Health Aides. Home health Aides do not need to renew their certification until the end of the declared emergency.
This also applies to HHAs who have an expired certification, so that they can work if their certification expired within the last 2 years.
In honor of Nurses week, the San Francisco Chronicle profiled seven SEIU 1021 members battling coronavirus on both sides of the Bay Area on May 6.
The work done by every SEIU 1021 member has kept our communities safer and healthier, and the media has noticed. Many of our stories are countless, and often undisclosed in the media, but now thanks to you–our stories are going around the world.
Please share their stories published in San Francisco Chronicle with your co-workers and join the fight for #ProtectAllWorkers.
SEIU 1021 members call for PPE, safe working conditions, and an economy and democracy that work for all during powerful healthcare roundtable
On Thursday, April 30, SEIU 1021 healthcare workers hosted a roundtable discussion via Facebook Live to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, and ways members in healthcare settings have been working tirelessly to keep patients and our communities safe. You can watch the full discussion here (fast forward to the 7:00 minute mark).
Panelists encouraged everyone to take action by demanding Congress include funds for local and state governments in future stimulus bills to protect the crucial work we do. You can add your voice at seiu1021.org/actnow or by calling 877-851-2521 to be connected to the office of your elected representatives.
SEIU 1021 President Joseph Bryant and SEIU 1021 VP of Organizing Jennifer Esteen, RN hosted the event, along with a panel featuring:
- Theresa Rutherford, SEIU 1021 Vice President of San Francisco and Nurse Assistant at Laguna Honda Hospital
- John Pearson, Registered Nurse and SEIU 1021 Chapter President at Alameda Health System
- Dena Galindo, SEIU 1021 Steward and Office Systems Specialist at San Joaquin General Hospital.
- Dr. Amelia Breyre, Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR-SEIU) Regional Vice President for Northern California
“This is the fourth installation of our “reach every member” broadcasts, which we kicked off about six weeks ago at the start of “shelter in place.” We created this platform to provide important information and updates for our membership, to continue to organize, unite, and collectively fight to protect all workers who are impacted by the crisis, and we also wanted a space where we can lift up our coworkers who continue to heroically provide the essential services that allow our communities to function day in and day out throughout this pandemic,” said Joseph Bryant, SEIU 1021 President.
SF Members Take To Streets To Demand PPE
Since this pandemic began, SEIU 1021 members have been demanding universal testing and PPE to keep us safe while we do the critical work of caring for the public.
On Friday, April 24, over one hundred San Francisco city workers and allies wearing protective face masks caravanned from the REI parking lot on Brannan St. to the SF Emergency Operations Center at the Moscone Center (check out photos here). An hour after our caravan action, Mayor Breed announced the acquisition of 15 million pieces of PPE.
City workers’ demand: universal testing and protective equipment (PPE) for all employees at work of serving residents during this pandemic.
“We are caring for the sick, supporting San Francisco’s seniors, children and vulnerable populations, and helping people get where they need to go,” said Theresa Rutherford, VP of San Francisco. “Adequate PPE keeps us safer. Universal testing is needed to figure out where the virus is, who is positive, and where it is going, who has fought it off, and whether the San Francisco residents are gaining immunity.”
“Essential front line workers are risking their lives, so we can live ours. Without these workers, who are bravely doing their civil duties every single day are heroes. Their mission– to stop this virus from spreading,” said SEIU 1021 President Joseph Bryant.” We need to make sure they have the essential protections to beat this virus.”
After months of activism on the job, at City Hall, and an hour after this caravan action in the streets— SF city workers received one out of two demands to #ProtectAllWorkers. Mayor London Breed announced the acquisition of fifteen million pieces of PPE for frontline workers.
RSVP at seiu1021.org/roundtable.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, staff in healthcare settings have been working tirelessly to keep patients and our communities safe. This includes all workers that keep our hospitals and clinics running in this critical time. But that work comes with a lot of challenges.
That’s why, on April 30, SEIU 1021 healthcare members will host a roundtable discussion on Facebook Live.
This panel discussion will provide an excellent opportunity for healthcare workers to learn from fellow union members about how we’re fighting to protect our lives and the lives of our patients during this pandemic.
You can submit questions for our panel ahead of time by visiting seiu1021.org/askaquestion. You’ll also be able to interact with other SEIU 1021 members and our panel by utilizing the Facebook comments feature.
You don’t need to work in a healthcare setting to participate, and you don’t need to have a Facebook account to watch. If you do have Facebook, click here to RSVP.
Otherwise, just head to facebook.com/seiu1021 at 6:30 pm on April 23 to watch.
Congress has passed multiple bills in response to the COVID-19 crisis, but so far they have fallen short of providing the support we need. Frontline workers still lack protective equipment, sufficient sick leave and essential worker pay. Many of us are being laid-off and are unsure of how we’ll cover bills. There’s no real plan to protect our right to vote without risking our health. And on top of that, immigrant families have been left out entirely.
Meanwhile, companies are making out like bandits while our public services—like processing the millions of new unemployment claims—are on the cusp of running out of funding.
On Friday, April 24, join San Francisco city workers on a caravan from the REI parking lot on Brannon to the SF Emergency Operations Center at the Moscone Center. We are demanding universal testing and protective equipment (PPE) for all front line employees doing the important work of serving SF residents during this pandemic.
At the Moscone Center, we will park in front and along the building. We’ll honk and chant with our windows rolled down to show support for 1021 members across the city and demand proper PPE and testing.
- 11:30 AM – Meet at REI parking lot 840 Brannan Street to prepare
- 12:00 PM – Caravan to the Emergency Operations Center at the Moscone Center at 747 Howard.
- 12:45 PM – Action ends.
This caravan is a CAR ACTION. Participants are expected to stay in their vehicles for the duration of the action. We will be observing social distancing and safety precautions. Everyone should bring a face covering.
This week, SEIU Local 1021 RN Industry Chair Sasha Cuttler published an op-ed in the San Francisco Examiner detailing the experiences of him and his colleagues in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The decreasing trend in new cases in SF continues to give hope that the first wave of infections may be decreasing. Let’s flatten the curve all the way by giving all workers the PPE and the right training for the job. And making sure that there are more than enough staff to do the work while the sick ones recover,” Sasha said.
Sasha shares from his background as a nurse in the United States’ first HIV/AIDS ward unit at San Francisco General Hospital. “Now as then, we find ourselves missing the many patients and colleagues who left us behind all at once,” Sasha reflects in his op-ed.
On April 16, SEIU 1021 President Joseph Bryant led our first telephone town hall since the COVID-19 pandemic began. You can listen to a recording of the full town hall here.
President Bryant hosted a panel featuring member leaders Ashley Payne, Karla Faucett, and Brandon Dawkins, who discussed their challenges and victories during this crisis.
“We’re keeping up the pressure—keeping membership looped in and being really creative about our organizing since we can’t show up at the Board of Supervisors chambers as usual or picket in person anymore,” said Ashley Payne, SEIU 1021 Chapter Vice President in Contra Costa County.
“When we stand united, the kindness that we share grows bigger, and we grow stronger,” said Nade Bozhinova, Dental Assistant at HealthRIGHT 360
Talk about solidarity in action—did you hear about the 5,000 N95 masks that SEIU 1021 members from the SF Art Institute donated to members at one of our newest Chapters, HealthRIGHT360?
This week, SF Art Institute adjunct faculty donated over 5,000 N95 masks to HealthRIGHT360 where they are desperately needed to protect frontline health workers. A huge thank you to the SFAI chapter who are facing layoff notices and are now fighting for their jobs, but are still practicing union solidarity to protect workers and our communities.
“The crisis of PPE shortages at our clinics has been averted thanks to solidarity by 1021 members at SF Art Institute,” said Julia Klems, HepC Care Coordinator at HealthRIGHT 360.