Underpaid, Overworked Nurse Education Consultants:
Yet Another Example of How the State is Failing Californians and its Workforce
SEIU Local 1000 Nurse Education Consultants (NECs) do critical work for the state to ensure nursing students have the training, skills, and knowledge to be successful in the profession — an essential state job considering the longstanding nursing shortage and urgent need to graduate qualified nurses to care for Californians.
But low pay and impossible workloads have led to a 50% vacancy rate of NECs. “The State is advertising for these positions, but people cannot accept the job because the salary is too low, and they can’t afford to live on it,” says Donna Shipp, a Nurse Education Consultant.
By failing to invest in these jobs, the state is driving countless nurses away from state employment at a time when California can’t afford to lose these essential workers. And we’re not alone. A recent independent study by the UC Berkeley Labor Center found that state wages are so low that 68,000 state employees can’t afford to support a family of TWO in California. That doesn’t just hurt our families — it hurts the communities where we live and work.
As Local 1000 members, we are shining a light on this egregious and eminently solvable problem by pushing the state toward a path of prosperity for everyone by investing in these critical jobs. State workers reinvest in our communities by paying rent and frequenting local businesses that create new jobs — it’s time the state invests in us!
We need to continue to show our strength and unity as union members, keeping up the pressure through our lobby days, by purpling up at work, attending the June 8 Rally for Raises in Sacramento, and by testifying at hearings with the legislature about low pay and staffing to ensure our elected leaders at the Capitol and beyond understand what’s at stake for California families.
The solution is clear. And we’re not backing down until the state takes action.