Members Take Our Message Direct to State Legislators on Lobby Day

Article Published on March 24, 2023

Monday, March 20 was Lobby Day at the State Capitol, and our members came in force to meet with legislators in their offices. They reinforced the vital services our 96,000 represented members provide to keep California running, and that the State isn’t keeping up their part of the bargain.

So many parts of our lives are affected by politics. Our work, our families, and our communities all feel the impact of decisions made by senators and assemblymembers across our state, and in order for us to thrive as state workers, it’s important that we develop relationships with lawmakers.

“We make politics work for state workers by having meaningful conversations with the State’s decision makers,” said Board Chair Bill Hall. “We make a difference at the Capitol when we organize, build coalitions, and project the power of the 96,000 employees we represent.”

Our lobbying efforts on Monday focused on our upcoming contract and the stark contrast between the value of the work we do to keep California healthy, safe, and strong … and the wages and benefits we receive that don’t add up.

Respect Us … Protect Us … Pay Us! is more than a slogan; it’s a demand for better compensation in our next contract, wages that go beyond just keeping up with rising inflation. Many of our members are struggling financially, a message that echoed throughout the Capitol on Lobby Day.

Last week, the UC Berkeley Labor Center issued a stunning report focused on the financial hardship of our brothers and sisters in Local 1000. Here’s a chilling excerpt:

“Our research finds that the very people providing essential services to help Californians emerge from the impacts of the pandemic are themselves struggling to make ends meet. California cannot recover economically or socially if workers do not earn enough to be self-sufficient and support a family.”

The report tells us that more than a third of our represented workers do not earn enough to support a family of four even with a working partner who earns the same salary, and more than two-thirds do not earn enough to support themselves and a child on their own.

“This is why we lobby at the Capitol,” said Board Chair Bill Hall. “This is why we work to build power in our worksites and why we are working to grow our Union membership. We are working to win a great contract, and it will take all of us to improve our wages, our benefits, and our working conditions.”