As we look back on 2019 and forward to the coming year it is worth remembering some of what we achieved in 2019 and think about the work that is left to do:
- Since 2015, we have joined with community allies as part of the Invest in San Diego Families coalition to demand that the County move away from the under-investment in services and staffing and toward helping County employees do their jobs, serving the most vulnerable San Diego residents. Those efforts are paying off. On June 25, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 budget. It is a very different $6.24 billion budget that expands county staff by 441 and increases investment in mental health, public health and child welfare. A few highlights include: 143.5 Behavioral Health Services positions, 125 Child Welfare Services positions, 29 Aging and Independence Services positions and 27.5 Public Health Nurses and oversight positions.
- We delivered 500 petitions to the Board of Supervisors to demand Equity for San Diego to make sure that the Board of Supervisors invests in competitive wages for San Diego County employees who deliver critical services to the most vulnerable in our communities. There is still time to sign the petition and invite your co-workers who haven’t signed it to do the same. We are planning another petition delivery from 9 am to noon on Jan. 28 at the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. RSVP to Mark.Leo@seiu221.org if you will join us.
- This year we won strong contracts in Imperial Beach, Grossmont, Fallbrook, Encinitas and the San Diego Housing Commission as well as San Diego Superior Court Court Reporters.
- We also believe we are close to an agreement with Imperial County Courts and San Diego Superior Court Counselors.
- Last year, we worked hard to pass Measure D, so that San Diego County elections are decided in November when the most people vote. This will make sure that more people are allowed to participate in choosing their elected officials.
- We elected Nathan Fletcher as a pro-worker voice on the Board of Supervisors and he has begun to push the board to invest in its workforce that provides critical front-line services.
- We made sure an SEIU Local 221 member is part of the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board of San Diego County.
- On Jan. 1, the San Diego’s minimum wage will increase to $13 an hour. SEIU led statewide efforts to fight for this increase, members spoke out and we organized the Raise the Wage San Diego coalition. When the minimum wage increases, this will raise the wage-floor for everyone and create upward pressure on wages.
- On Jan. 3, County employees’ wages will increase by 3 percent. If, after January, you do not see these increases reflected in your pay, please contact your work site organizer or the SEIU Local 221 Advocacy Center at (858) 268-7020.
While this is an impressive list of highlights, I know that 2020 will be even better. We will have an early political season with the primary election on March 3. Take the Member Political Power Team Pledge by following this link to make sure that we create a better future for working families. We also will continue to call upon the County of San Diego to undertake a comprehensive compensation study and bring all of San Diego County employee wages up to a competitive level through equity. With everyone working together, I know that this will only be the beginning.
Here is to a great 2019 and an even better 2020,
President, SEIU Local 221
P.S. Do you work with employees who aren’t in the union? Give them and yourself the gift of worker power by getting them to become members now. You can even use this calculator to show them that an investment in a strong union pays dividends for their career. It is easy to become a member, and they can do it online by clicking here.