San Joaquin County workers win hero pay
SEIU Local 1021 San Joaquin County Chapter workers have scored a significant victory, as the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors voted on January 11 to approve a one-time COVID-19 payment for qualifying employees, totaling up to $1,000 each. This victory would not have been possible if members had not organized to put pressure on the Board to acknowledge their ongoing commitment in the face of the pandemic.
Part-time workers are eligible for a one-time payment of $1,000 if they worked 1,041 or more hours, while part-time workers who worked between 500 and 1,040 hours qualify for $500. That is only possible because, through the power of our union, we lifted the cap on part-time workers’ hours last year. We can win more material victories like that and more as we enter into bargaining later in the year.
Taffie Walter, Vice President for Region E – San Joaquin, Amador, and Calaveras counties, and president for the San Joaquin County Chapter, spoke about how winning hero pay connects to the more significant issue of the pandemic, “We know that working through a once-in-a-century worldwide health pandemic has made our work all the more essential. COVID-19 has laid bare injustice, inequality, and indifference to human suffering. However, San Joaquin County chapter workers have been on the frontlines since the very beginning, fighting for our communities. We know the work that must happen to deal with COVID-19 must be collective work. That is why being part of a union, a movement focused on labor, and working-class people everywhere, is the answer. We make San Joaquin County safe for everyone. We keep San Joaquin County running. We are San Joaquin County.”