The Purple Buzz – July 7, 2011

July 7, 2011

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Quick Quiz

True or False: Unions are the largest contributors to political candidates, and that’s why they’re influential.

Scroll down to end of the email to see the answer.

Mark the Date

521 Full Executive Board
Special Face-to-Face Meeting
7/16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Fresno

521 Budget & Finance Committee
7/20, 5:30 p.m. via video-conference

521 Communications Committee
8/3, 6:30 p.m.

Fresno: 7/14, 5:30 p.m.
San Jose: 7/16, Noon

Fresno & San Jose:
7/21, 5:30 p.m.

San Carlos: 7/14, 5:30 p.m.
Visalia: 7/20, 6 p.m.
San Jose: 8/2, 5:30 p.m.

Latino Caucus
Fresno: 7/7, 5:30 p.m.
San Jose: 7/9, 10 a.m. 

People Working with Disabilities
Fresno, San Jose & Santa Cruz:
7/12, 4 p.m.

Region 1
San Jose: 7/13, 6 p.m.

Region 5
Teleconference: 7/12, 6:30 p.m.

Region 6
San Jose: 8/5, 2 p.m.

Social and Economic Justice
San Jose: 7/12, 5:30 p.m.

Women’s Caucus
Fresno: 7/28, 5:30 p.m.

» Localwide Events

 521 in the news

State Budget: SEIU 521 members waged a good fight

521 Members CanvassingWe needed our leaders to come together and maintain revenues to prevent deeper cuts to the things that matter. But we got stuck with another year of cuts.

Here is what SEIU 521 Region 2 Vice President Matt Nathanson said: “It is clear we need to find more resources to fund vital California services, be they libraries, schools, parks, health care or local government. Otherwise, California will continue to fade.”

Read full article here:

The numbers don’t lie

Middle Class Chart

Executive pay going up, union density going down, middle class income stagnant. That’s not a coincidence.

Read more about why we need to fight for a fair economy:

City of Salinas workers protect jobs

After months of negotiations, City of Salinas workers overwhelmingly approved their new contracts. Originally faced with 66 layoffs, members negotiated a contract extension until 2015 with no layoffs and no increases in healthcare.

Read more at:

Monterey, Santa Cruz counties voting on contracts

Workers in both Monterey and Santa Cruz counties reached tentative contract agreements this month that saved jobs and protected services. As of today, July 7, members from both counties are still voting on these agreements, and both bargaining teams are recommending a YES vote.

During this difficult economic time, our bargaining teams worked very hard — even holding a 24-hour bargaining marathon — to ensure that jobs were protected and that members didn’t have to contribute more than their fair share to help close budget gaps.

Read more about Monterey County contract and voting information:

Read more about Santa Cruz County contract and voting information:

SEIU 521 food drive featured on news program

Loading the food truckHave you seen labor’s first news network? It’s called National Workforce Network and its latest broadcast features SEIU 521 members and our recent phenomenal food drive in which we collected – in canned food and cash donations — enough for 7,200 meals.

Check out the news clip here: and forward to the 12:00 minute mark. (The interview with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry preceding it is also terrific.)

Quick Quiz

True or False: Unions are the largest contributors to political candidates, and that’s why they’re influential.

Answer: False.
Unions contributed $313 million to political candidates in 2007-08, the last election cycle for which comprehensive data is available. That seems like a lot, until you consider the $2 billion — yes, with a B — that business poured into politics. Business contributed 58 percent of all political donations; unions just 9 percent.

Want the nuts and bolts?
Go to

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