The Purple Buzz – April 26, 2011

SEIU 521 members launch canned food drive

Times are tough and many families are struggling, some more than others.

That’s why SEIU 521 is launching its first-ever localwide canned food drive to help out local food banks throughout our vast 17-county territory. We’re calling our effort “Food for All.” The food drive runs May 1 – May 21.

Stand Up for California

Help stop deeper cuts to vital services

Our economy is stalled. The budget crisis threatens our recovery and job creation. Across the state, thousands of Californians are holding actions to secure the revenues we need to protect schools, help the elderly, and get our economy back on track.

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521 Caucus’s work felt on other side of the world

SEIU 521 members support our communities every day through our work. But the good work of the Women’s Caucus in Fresno is felt on the other side of the world, where two American soldiers serving in Iraq have been receiving monthly care packages from Fresno.

“Just to think of someone over there in Iraq, no family, and fighting in the war, and probably thinking nobody cares about them,” said Jennifer Jensen, chair of the caucus.

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Also, read about Latino Caucus’s work for the community.

May Day march for worker and immigrant rights

Support the right of all workers to unionize. Support comprehensive and humane immigration reform. March on Sunday, May 1, from Story and King Roads in San Jose (map to starting point) to San Jose City Hall.

Members tell BOS: You’re still not listening

Two weeks ago, members of SEIU Local 521’s Kern County Chapter, in a three-day vote this week, overwhelmingly rejected the latest contract package offered by the Board of Supervisors.

The offer was a pay cut that falls disproportionately on the county’s lowest-paid and longest-serving workers.

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New study confirms: “Unions Make the Middle Class”

Want a stronger economy with a healthy middle class?

The answer is stronger unions. According to a new study, each percentage point increase in union membership raises the income of the average middle-class family — union member and nonmember alike — by $153. If union membership were as high as it was in 1980, middle-class families would be bringing home $1,532 more every year.

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SEIU backs Bilbrey for CalPERS Board

SEIU California backs Michael Bilbrey in his run for a seat on the CalPERS Board of Administration.

Ballots will be mailed to your home April 21. If you do not receive a ballot by May 5, call the CalPERS Board Elections Office at (800) 794-2297 or (916) 795-3952. Ballots must be postmarked or received by CalPERS by May 20.

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Quick Quiz

Q.: Which governor signed the law allowing employees of local governments to collectively bargain in California?

A.: The Meyers-Milias-Brown Act was signed in 1968 by Gov. Ronald Reagan. The Act gave collective bargaining rights to the employees of public agencies, including local governments, but not including superior courts.

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