The Purple Buzz: April 17, 2012

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Quick Quiz:

If you work for a living and make anywhere from $35,000 to $85,000, you pay a marginal tax rate of 25 percent. But what about hedge-fund managers or people who work in private equity, or who just live off the investments they inherited?
What tax rate do they pay? 

a) 0 percent
b) 15 percent
c) 20 percent
d) 39.6 percent  

Scroll down to see answer.  

Wanted: Your signature!

Take Back Our CaliforniaOnly a couple of weeks left for us to get enough signatures to place Gov. Brown’s millionaires tax on the November ballot.  

If you joined SEIU 521’s tele-town hall last week, you heard highlights of the plan:  

– Raises nearly $9 billion for the next budget year  

– Asks the wealthiest Californians to make a stronger contribution to our state: Only households making $500,000 or more would pay higher income taxes.  

– Helps secure additional revenues to protect education, public safety, and critical services for our most vulnerable residents  

What you can do:  

We need to collect enough voter signatures to place the plan on the November election ballot. Be sure to sign the petition. Better yet, go out and help gather signatures! 3 ways to obtain the petition:  

1. Contact your internal organizer.  

2. Pick one up at your nearest SEIU 521 office:  

3. Download at:  

CED on your side: Union member wins job back

Reshmi PrasadArbitrator orders Sheriff to reverse wrongful termination  

After a year-long struggle, a 521 member won her job back after being wrongfully terminated from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.  

“I thank God for all of his blessings and for giving me such great people to fight for me, including my steward, Vicky Haynes. My union gave me a chance to tell my side of the story and never gave up on me. I would encourage more people to join our union… because I am living proof that YES, our union does protect us no matter what.”
—Reshmi Prasad, Corrections Specialist, Monterey County Sheriff’s Department

Read Reshmi’s story:  

Join the team that wins for workers:  

521 helps improve healthcare with Public Health Nurse conference

Public Health nurses from around the state came to Bakersfield as SEIU 521 hosted a conference for “healthcare’s best-kept secret.” Nurses got training in wound care, learned about healthcare reform, reviewed the history of their field, and learned how to keep sharing knowledge every day.  


Valley members organized for big wins in the last two weeks

In Delano, workers from the the reopening community correctional facility used facts to fight off a privatization attempt that would have lowered wages and transferred the profits out of the city.

In Fresno County, department of Social Services workers prompted the Board of Supervisors to increase security after a shooting in the parking lot. Even notoriously anti-worker Supervisor Phil Larson took notice! These wins show the power workers have when we work together.

Martha and DeniseMembers help stop $100,000 cash-outs for managers

San Benito County members took action and fought to end $100,000 vacation cash-outs—and other costly perks—for top managers which were leading to cuts in community services.  

“This win demonstrates the power we can build and the achievements we can make when we work together… I encourage all workers to get involved in their union.”
—Denise Quintana, Chapter Vice President, pictured on the right with Martha Booker (L), SEIU 521 San Benito County Chapter President


Pension Reform: Where we are heading

As part of his overall reform package, Governor Brown has asked the Legislature to enact his 12-point pension reform plan. Most recommendations in the plan, such as banning pension spiking, make sense and we support them.

What you can do:  

1. Share your story! Will you be able to retire with dignity?  

2. Come to the next 521 Pension Committee meeting
Wednesday, April 25, 6-8 p.m.
Location: SEIU 521 offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Salinas, San Jose and Visalia via video conference
RSVP to  

3. Like the new Facebook page on retirement security:  

Clinica de Salud workers join 521 Family!

Gina Izquiredo
Workers at Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas chose to form a union with SEIU Local 521 this month. Clinica de Salud workers provide health care services in Monterey County. Now the next step will be bargaining their first contract. Congratulations, Clinica de Salud!  

“From the beginning, it was clear that the majority of Clinica employees wanted to form a union. A union gives us a voice to make Clinica a great place to work and an opportunity to partner with management to improve patient care for our clients.”
—Gina Izquiredo, Medical Assistant.


Stay informed!

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Quick Quiz:

If you work for a living and make anywhere from $35,000 to $85,000, you pay a marginal tax rate of 25 percent. But what about hedge-fund managers or people who work in private equity, or who just live off the investments they inherited?
What tax rate do they pay?  

a) 0 percent
b) 15 percent
c) 20 percent
d) 39.6 percent

Answer: b) 15 percent.
The long-term capital gains tax rate has been at 15 percent since 2003, when it was reduced from 20 percent. The result is that people who make money by moving money around, people like Warren Buffett and Mitt Romney, pay a lower tax rate than people who teach children, pave roads, care for the sick or answer 9-1-1 calls.

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