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Budget a milestone for County workers, residents, equity and racial justice

Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the County of San Diego Fiscal Year 2021-'22 Budget in June.

Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the County of San Diego Fiscal Year 2021-'22 Budget in June. The budget funds 600 new SEIU-represented positions and hazard pay and teleworking stipends. The budget also rose to the moment we are living in by addressing racial justice and equity.

"My coworkers and I stepped up when we were needed in order to support the families that were devastated by the pandemic - eligibility workers never stopped working hard to serve our communities," said Tim Macedo, SEIU member and Human Services Specialist at the El Cajon Family Resource Center. "As an employee that choose a profession that is dedicated to serving others, I applaud the decision to support the County Work Task force to ensure that we have the outreach, education and staffing to maximize enrollment in all of our programs."

Make no mistake, the budget that Supervisors approved would not exist without almost a year of organizing. We signed petitions, testified, emailed and brought attention to our demands with caravans and vigils.

After this win, it is important to shift our focus to the upcoming County contract negotiations. We are building 40 organizing committees at worksites throughout the County to make sure that everyone has a voice and senior County bosses know that we are united. If you haven't gone to an organizing committee meeting yet, ask your steward for details on the next meeting.

This budget will improve the quality of vital County services and relieve excessive workloads by adding staffing to Detention Medical Services, Eligibility Services, CWS, Homeless Services and more. Additionally, this budget commits to racial justice and equity by creating an Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement, increasing language access and creating an Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs.

While this budget is one we can be proud of, it is not perfect. We will continue to work on recruiting and retaining staff at Edgemoor, ending mandatory overtime in detention facilities and increasing public defenders staff and everywhere else where it is needed.

Here are some highlights from the CAO’s Proposed Budget and Change Letter

The proposed includes a commitment to equity and racial justice by including funding for the following initiatives