We Support a “California Dignity for All” Budget

SEIU 521 Members At Lobby Day

SEIU 521 Members in Sacramento on May 16, 2017

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SEIU members and allies rallied and lobbied at the State Capitol in Sacramento on May 16 to demand a state budget that provides dignity for all, regardless of age, economic status, zip code, health status or pre–existing conditions, and regardless of disability.

Among other things, SEIU 521 members from San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Fresno, and Kern Counties showed up to protect county jobs from harsh cuts in state funding, and to support AB 1250, a bill that aims to increase accountability standards when cities and counties attempt to contract out our members’ work.

We support a “California Dignity for All” budget that:

  • Protects taxpayers and crucial county/city services for our community (AB 1250);
  • Ensures care and services for a rapidly aging population;
  • And, raises the standard of care in nursing homes.

Protecting taxpayers and crucial county/city services for our community: AB 1250, Commonsense Outsourcing Standards

In the last 8 years, billions of dollars of services have been “realigned” to the local level from the state, but the basic outsourcing safeguards in place at the state level for 35 years did not get updated. As a result, for a growing share of our taxpayer dollars and public services, there is no accountability and little transparency, opening the door to potential fraud and abuse.

“Commonsense Outsourcing Standards” (AB 1250) would protect taxpayers by requiring counties and cities to clearly demonstrate that a proposed outsourcing contract will result in actual overall costs savings and also to show that the contract does not cause the displacement of county or city workers.

For example, the City of Palo Alto is currently seeking to outsource parking enforcement duties to a private contractor, Serco, that a United State Senate Committee (on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) has deemed to be one of the most egregious and frequent violators of federal labor laws.

We believe that outsourcing public service work should only be done with the utmost caution, transparency, and due diligence to ensure that our communities and taxpayers benefit.

Ensuring care and services for a rapidly aging population: Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI)

In the January proposed state budget, state funding for the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) was at risk. In a time of great uncertainty, SEIU members who are home care providers and county workers rolled up their sleeves and worked closely with the Governor’s administration and our social safety net providers to ensure that the burden of state budget cuts was eased for our most vulnerable populations, and that all caregivers will have the dignity of a contract.

We believe that together we are making the best of a tough situation. We asked legislators on May 16 to support the Coordinated Care Initiative compromise contained in Governor Brown’s budget revision.

Raising the Standard of Care in Nursing Homes

We also asked legislators to pass a state budget that better protects nursing home residents who are currently at risk of illness, injury, or dying alone due to outdated staffing standards that take a toll on caregivers and the quality of care they can provide to our loved ones.

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