Senator Pan Stands with Local 1000, Creates Essential State Workers Day

Article published on august 19, 2022

Dr. Richard Pan—state Senator and long-time ally of Local 1000—recognized our contributions to California in the form of Senate Resolution No. 100 – Essential State Workers Day (August 8, 2022).

In his comments made while introducing the resolution earlier this month, Dr. Pan recognized state workers for keeping California moving forward, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also recognized the 9 percent pay cut we endured for a year and how we continued to serve the citizens of California.

You can read the entire text of the Essential Worker Resolution at the end of this article.

Our Local 1000 Bargaining Team continues to press the State for a more realistic and respectful offer of Essential Worker Pay (EWP). The next scheduled bargaining session for Essential Worker Pay is August 31, 2022.

No agreement has been signed, and the State hasn’t budged beyond their one-time $1500 offer to a very limited group of people who worked in defined health care settings during the pandemic. As such, this offer fails to address the many Local 1000-represented workers who kept California running through the course of the pandemic.

One of the criteria the State has been using to define “essential” is “… the [health care] employee was in-person providing services onsite more than 50 percent of the time during the pandemic.”

All across the state, at EDD, DMV, and in scores of other agencies and workplaces, our members kept the revenue coming in—creating the biggest budget surplus in California history—despite truly dangerous public-facing working conditions that continue as this pandemic persists.

The State must now acknowledge the vital role of essential workers and do more than provide “thank yous” for the services we provided. They must show us the respect we deserve in their EWP proposal by acknowledging we’re ALL essential workers.   

Our Local 1000 team includes the nine Bargaining Unit Chairs, all three Vice Presidents, the Board Chair, and staff from the Contract Department. 

Senate Resolution No. 100 (Introduced by Senator Pan)

Relative to Essential State Workers Day.

WHEREAS, according to the Sacramento Bee, all units of essential state workers took a 9 percent pay cut, while providing their essential services, to ensure the state kept running; and

WHEREAS, In Unit 1 of the California Division of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), 46,000 informational, financial and public resources professionals, including accounting officers, auditors, and analysts for all departments; employment program representatives at the Employment Development Department (EDD), disability evaluators at the Disability Determination Services division of the State Department of Health Care Services, and information technology analysts, worked 14-hour days to ensure Californians were able to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables; and

WHEREAS, In SEIU Unit 3, 2,300 professional educators and librarians, including teachers and librarians at the Division of Juvenile Justice of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the State Department of Developmental Services, and teachers with the Schools for the Deaf and School for the Blind at the Department of Education, ensured our special needs students and our children who are on the path to redemption received a quality education; and

WHEREAS, In SEIU Unit 4, 29,000 office and allied workers, including program assistants, program technicians, tax technicians, key data operators, word processing technicians, stock clerks, and toll collectors at eight bridges up and down the State of California, ensured the operations of our agencies continued to run because of workers at the Department of Motor Vehicles and California Highway Patrol, so that our roads remained safe; and

WHEREAS, In SEIU Unit 11, 2,900 engineering and scientific technicians, including agricultural inspectors, air resources technicians, and those who perform drafting and technical work in the Department of Transportation and the Department of Water Resources, ensured our food, air, and roads remained safe and in compliance with state law; and

WHEREAS, In SEIU Unit 14, 500 printers, including employees at the Office of State Publishing, where the state budget, bills, laws, and other state documents are printed; printers, and graphic artists in individual departments, ensured our state documents were distributed in a timely fashion, and that our state communications were readily accessible to all Californians; and

WHEREAS, In SEIU Unit 15, 4,600 allied service workers, including civil service custodians who clean various state buildings, laundry workers, and supervising cooks and food services workers in prisons and other state institutions, ensured state workers had clean and safe facilities so they could continue to provide the essential services that kept California going; and

WHEREAS, In SEIU Unit 17, 5,100 registered nurses, including registered nurses in state hospitals and prisons, the State Department of Health Care Services, the State Department of Public Health, nurse evaluators who inspect facilities, and nurse consultants who oversee special programs, risked exposure to COVID-19 while providing vital medical care to incarcerated persons who had COVID-19 and other serious health conditions; and

WHEREAS, In SEIU Unit 20, 3,700 medical and social services specialists, including licensed vocational nurses, certified nurse assistants, teaching assistants, registered dental assistants, pharmacy and laboratory technicians, physical therapists, and counselors, worked in prisons, veterans’ homes, developmental centers, and special schools, risking exposure to COVID-19 while providing vital medical care to people who had COVID-19 and other serious health conditions; and

WHEREAS, In SEIU Unit 21, 600 educational consultants and librarians, including librarians at the California State Library and educational consultants at the Department of Education who work with school districts and in educational programs, ensured that our nurses and school bus drivers were adequately trained so they could continue to provide quality services throughout the state; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, That the Senate recognizes August 8, 2022, as Essential State Workers Day; and be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

Senate Resolution No. 100 read and adopted by the Senate August 11, 2022.