Bill to allow in-person UI assistance
4:04 PM - April 7, 2010


Members back effort to improve service during tough times

Local 1000 is sponsoring new legislation which would allow out-of-work Californians much needed, in-person assistance with their unemployment claims.

AB 1827 addresses gaps in current law, and would require the Employment Development Department (EDD) to assign one UI representative to each of at least 50 one-stop and career centers.
Most people apply for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits on the Internet or over the phone. But if an unemployed worker has problems or unanswered questions, it is nearly impossible to get through to a representative by phone – millions of calls have gone unanswered. In addition, the offices housing UI representatives are not open to the public.

Frustrated by the lack of response on the phone, people are streaming into the one-stop centers seeking help – only to be told, in some instances, to go to the lobby and make yet another call. Currently, employees staffing one-stop centers have little UI training, nor do they have computer access to EDD’s UI database.

“We recognize that we need to provide better services to unemployed workers,” said Margarita Maldonado, Unit 1 bargaining chair. “This bill shows our commitment to working people during tough economic times, and we believe that it will save the state money in the long run and make EDD more efficient.”

AB 1827 is being carried by Assemblymember Juan Arambula (I-Fresno). The bill’s first committee hearing will happen this month; no date had been announced as of press time.

Members are needed to lobby, write letters and submit their stories to pass this critical legislation. To join the fight, contact Stephanie Burri in the Local 1000 Legislative department via e-mail