March 2015

Unleashing Our Power Training in Fresno: April 11

As member leaders, WE have the power to unite workers to build a stronger union.

What is a Member Leader?
The most powerful way to connect with workers is with our stories and experiences as members of SEIU Local 521. Only members can talk about the power of our union and how it impacts our quality of life.

Member Leader Workshops Start Now.
Member leaders will receive training and have fun making a serious difference in the lives of working families. Workshops will focus on real-life organizing opportunities and challenges.

WHEN: Saturday, April 11, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: SEIU 521 Fresno Office, 5228 E. Pine Ave., Fresno, CA 93727

About Unleashing Our Power
Are you ready to lead our union to a brighter future? This workshop prepares members for leadership roles and how to utilize our union power to make a difference at our worksites and in our communities.

To register please RSVP at (559) 447-2579 or Liane.Mazzella@seiu521.org.

Print and distribute the flyer (PDF)

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Chavez Celebration in San Jose

On April 4, SEIU 521 Latino Caucus sponsored the 12th annual Cesar Chavez Celebration in San Jose. The celebration included dancers, speakers, raffles and poets.

 

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Help the Food Bank of Monterey County

Putting Our Community First in Monterey County

Last week an arsonist set fire to the Food Bank for Monterey County which provides vital food for the most vulnerable in our community.

Residents rely on the food bank daily and this arson puts families at further risk.

As SEIU Local 521 members, we provide important public services and when our community needs support we stand together to lift our community.

ChildrenWhile food would be welcome for our local food bank, monetary donations are preferred so that our food bank can purchase equipment to store food donations.

Let’s put our community first by making donations to our our local food bank.

How to Donate to the Food Bank for Monterey County:

Phone:  
Make a credit card donation by calling 831-758-1523. VISA/MasterCard/American Express accepted.

Online:  
Make a secure online donation using your credit card at www.foodbankformontereycounty.org

Mail:  
Make your check payable to: Food Bank for Monterey County and mail it to 815 West Market Street, #5, Salinas, California 93901.

Call Melissa Kendrick at 831-758-1523 or email lsunny@food4hungry.org to find out more about the good your financial gift can do.

Stay Informed!

* Visit the SEIU Local 521 website frequently

Like us on Facebook

* Or, simply text 521 to 787753 to subscribe to text alerts. (Standard text messages rates may apply.)

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Kern County Chapter – Bargaining Update: March 25

Our work for a contract continues

Next solidarity action: April 9

This week’s field activities, from unfurling a 50-foot-banner of community first pledges before the board of supervisors on March 24 to stickering up on March 25, showed our Bargaining Team they’ve got our support.

During negotiations on March 25, we reached tentative agreement on the following items:

  • Continuing Education: County to provide in-house training when possible.
  • Shop Stewards: A ratio of 1 shop steward for 50 workers for the majority of departments.

NOTE: All tentative agreements take effect only if and when a complete contract is approved by both parties.

Keep CalmThe bargaining team will be presenting a package of proposals at the next session on April 9.

We need to PURPLE UP that day and hold UNITY BREAKS – because that is how we can show the county that workers are standing strong together!

Be sure to keep reaching out to fellow co- workers and community residents to sign our Community First pledge cards!
www.seiu521.org/kcsupport

Let’s keep fighting to win!

Print and distribut the flyer and pledge cards (PDF)

If you don’t have a sign, print your own here (PDF).

Stay Informed!

Sign Up for Text and Email Updates
Get the latest Kern County Chapter updates (and meeting reminders) by email and/or on your cell phone.

For text messages only, simply text 521KERN to 787753 to subscribe.
(Standard text messages rates may apply).

Visit your chapter web page frequently: www.seiu521.org/cokern

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/SEIU521Kern

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Bringing Community First to the Board

Keep CalmKern County Chapter: Bargaining Update
This week’s field activities, from unfurling a 50-foot-banner of community first pledges before the board of supervisors on March 24 to stickering up on March 25, showed our Bargaining Team they’ve got our support.
Learn more

Kern County Chapter Members
Three days before our contract with Kern County expires, dozens of SEIU Local 521 members flooded the Board of Supervisors meeting on March 24 to continue to push our Community First message.

Misty Thompson, an Animal Control Officer, talked about working with the county to come up with positive solutions. “Partner with the people who are here today and the thousands more people we represent. We share the common goal of putting our Community First.” Misty also led workers in holding up a fifty foot banner covered with hundreds of pledge cards from workers and residents of Kern County.

banner for web

Our fight to get the BOS to invest in public services and invest in the front-line workers who provide those services was joined by community members, including John Spaulding from the Building Trades Council. Ezra Quintana, Senior Information Systems Specialist at the Library, closed the public comment period by delivering an official letter inviting to Board members to walk in our shoes for a day.

If you signed a pledge card, thank you for your help!

If you haven’t yet, please join hundreds of our co-workers and residents, and sign the pledge now.

If you don’t have a sign, print your own here (PDF).

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Fresno County Chapter: April 1 Tele-Town Hall

Contract negoti a tions kick-off: Members’ feedback needed

Fresno County Chapter Tele-Town HallBargaining Team members will host a tele-town hall on Wednesday, April 1 at 6 p.m. where SEIU 521 Fresno County members are invited to join (by telephone) to learn more about our contract proposal and to provide feedback.

Answer the call tonight at 6 p.m.!

 

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Chavez Celebration in Visalia: March 28

Cesar Chavez
Join us in celebrating the legacy of Cesar Chavez

March 31 marks the birth of Cesar E. Chavez (1927-1993), a man who committed his life to helping and improving the lives of others. To pay tribute to his legacy of service and commitment, the Cesar Chavez Celebrating the Legacy Committee is organizing a tribute on Saturday, March 28.

Event Details:

  • Participants will meet at College of the Sequoias, Visalia at 9:00 a.m.
  • March will begin at 10 a.m. to the Visalia Community Campus located at 224 NW 3rd Street.
  • Arriving at the Visalia Community Campus by noon, marchers will join a birthday celebration and community festival until 3:30 p.m. that will include entertainment, music, food, health and educational information booths.

Performing will be Folkorico Legacy Youth Mariachi, a Cesar Chavez Foundation guest speaker, and Ballet Folkorico del Lago. Other performing artists include Ricardo Robeldo, Dulce Navarro, Valeria Aguirre, and Group Libre.

About the Cesar Chavez Celebrating the Legacy Committee:

This committee is composed of various community members representing various organizations. The purpose of the committee is to bring awareness and educate the community on the values Cesar Chavez worked so hard for. For more information contact Erica Mireles at emireles@proteusinc.org or 559-733-5423.

Click here to print flyer: Cesar Chavez Celebration in Visalia (PDF)

Also, the SEIU Local 521 Latino Caucus invites you to a meeting to establish a Latino Caucus in the Tulare/Kings County Area:
When: Wednesday, April 1
5:30-7:30 p.m.: Video Conference Meeting
7:30-7:40 p.m.: Local discussion
Where: SEIU 521 Union Office, 1811 West Sunnyside Ave., Visalia
Dinner will be provided.
Please RSVP to attend: (559) 635-3720
BRING A FRIEND!
For more information about the SEIU 521 Latino Caucus, or to print and distribute flyer, click here.

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Rally at the Board March 24 at 8 a.m.

Kern County workers in the board chambers

Momentum is on our side, we can move the BOS!

Next action: Tuesday, March 24 at 8 a.m.

Community partners stood with us on Tuesday and helped us successfully fight back the county’s plan to privatize our libraries.

But we need to build on our momentum. The Board of Supervisors voted to put a “hold” on plans to privatize our libraries but they still adopted a plan to go forward and explore “public-private partnerships” in the future.

Sign the pledge if you haven’t. Get a co-worker to sign it, too!
seiu521.org/kcsupport

While we protect the library, we need to continue our work on the new contract, where the county has asked not only for more power to privatize everywhere, but also to reclassify hundreds of us from hourly to salaried in order to make us work longer and increase workloads while not paying overtime.

Come out next Tuesday, March 24 at 8 a.m. to the Board of Supervisors office (1115 Truxtun Ave., by the fountain) to tell the BOS to stand strong for quality public services!

Read the news article published by Bakersfield Californian.

Add your name to the petition to show your support!

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The Purple Buzz – Mar. 19

Purple Buzz
 

Sign up now to get this eNewsletter in your mailbox. Click here to sign up now.

Quick Quiz

When and where was the first free public library created in the world?

A. 1833, Peterborough, New Hampshire, a proposal by the town’s Unitarian minister
B. 1785, Washington D.C., shortly after the Revolutionary War
C. 1894, Philadelphia, following a legal battle among existing libraries fighting over a $225,000 bequest.

Scroll down to see the answer.


Will you stand with Kern County workers?

Theresa BeckerPiece by piece, Kern County is trying to privatize public programs and services. It started with parks, which SEIU 521 members beat back through PERB. This week, the library system was on the privatizing chopping block. The community vehemently shot that notion down and the board of supervisors has backed off for now. But on the same day, they voted to make privatizing services a county priority going forward.

Read more: www.seiu521.org/standwithkern

Kern county workers need your help to send the board a message: “Just say ‘No’ to privatizing!”

Your voice matters – sign the pledge: www.seiu521.org/kcsupport


IGNITE conference sets SEIU leaders on fire

More than 1,000 SEIU members, staff, officers and activists gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, in March to “ignite” our labor movement and the fight for economic justice.

During the conference, delegates and participants committed to mobilize their friends, family and coworkers to support the April 15 National Day of Action.

Watch the Fight for $15 video and learn more here: www.seiu521.org/2015/03/ignite


Kid GovernorKid Governor needs a hand!

It’s time to fix California’s broken child care system.

Kid Governor unveiled child care legislation in Sacramento and now she needs your help to make it a reality: Lend a hand of support!

Read more: www.seiu521.org/helpkidgov


National Day of Action: Join the Fight for $15 on 4/15!

On April 15, working people, students, faith organizations, union members, and others in communities across the country will stand together to call for higher wages, union rights, better jobs, and economic justice for all.

We are stronger when we all win. Let’s stand together on April 15 and put our Community First!

Find out more:  http://april15.org


Quick Quiz

When and where was the first free public library created in the world?

A. 1833, Peterborough, New Hampshire, a proposal by the town’s Unitarian minister
B. 1785, Washington D.C., shortly after the Revolutionary War
C. 1894, Philadelphia, following a legal battle among existing libraries fighting over a $225,000 bequest.

Answer: A

The Peterborough Town Library, established in 1833, is the oldest tax-supported public library in the world.

In 1833, Reverend Abiel Abbot, Peterborough’s Unitarian minister, proposed the creation of the Peterborough Town Library, a central collection of books that would be owned by the people and free to all inhabitants of the town. Funds were available for a core collection because of the State Literary Fund – tax money originally collected to build a state university.

(The information contained in Answer C is factually correct, but the Peterborough Town Library still predates the Free Library of Philadelphia by 61 years.)

Source:  www.peterboroughtownlibrary.org/about/history

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Will you stand with Kern County workers?

Theresa BeckerPiece by piece, Kern County is trying to privatize public programs and services. It started with parks, which SEIU 521 members beat back through PERB.

This week, the library system was on the privatizing chopping block. The community vehemently shot that notion down and the board of supervisors has backed off for now. But on the same day, they voted to make privatizing services a county priority going forward.

Kern county workers need your help to send the board a message: “Just say ‘No’ to privatizing!”

Your voice matters – Sign the pledge if you haven’t. 

Get a co-worker to sign it, too!

Theresa Becker talked about how hard it is to build a program without a board that puts our community first. “How can we reduce waste and be more efficient, with a high turnover rate because employees don’t have enough hours, are only making minimum wage, and have no benefits?”

Jasmin Labasso Spencer echoed a point that each of knows from our own departments, “Despite less money, the Library has maintained programs and services. Employees expertly use volunteers, Friends groups, and grants to fill the gaps. Every time an employee leaves the Library, other employees have taken the burden by taking on their duties.”

While we protect the library, we need to continue our work on the new contract, where the county has asked not only for more power to privatize everywhere, but also to reclassify hundreds of us from hourly to salaried in order to make us work longer and increase workloads while not paying overtime.

Come out next Tuesday, March 24 at 8 a.m. to the Board of Supervisors office (1115 Truxtun Ave., by the fountain) to tell the BOS to stand strong for quality public services!

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