GeoPay Task Force Steps Up for Economic Justice


Local 1000 members are using the power of our union contract to address a wide variety of economic factors that deeply affect our members.

The GeoPay Task force, comprised of six members from across the state, is working this year with a group of state agencies to examine the high costs of living that state workers encounter in six different areas, which include housing, transportation, child- care, health care and comparable wages.

The Task Force will meet with the state throughout the year, where in-depth discussions and presentations on each of the six areas of focus will take place. Participating state agencies include CalHR, EDD, CDTFA, DGS and the PUC.

Rental housing costs were the first topic addressed in a meeting held Jan. 9. Our team illustrated a range of challenges to state workers: in one example, we showed how 96% of state workers in the Bay Area couldn’t afford basic rent for a two-bedroom apartment. In another, half of the state workers in Southern California couldn’t find “affordable” housing (defined as 30% of income).

In the north state, where housing is more affordable, availability is the problem.

Paul Langley, a third-generation state worker with 24 years’ experience at the Coastal Commission, testified as subject matter expert, explained his commonly-shared plight of only being able afford to live and work in San Francisco by sharing the rent of his two-bedroom apartment with two additional boarders.

The work of the Task Force is a prelude to geographic-based compensation negotiations when we bargain our next contract in 2020.