Local 1000’s 2015 Legislative Agenda fights for working families
Bills advance worker rights and social justice
Local 1000 is sponsoring several bills this year that avoid contracting out public services, eliminate mandatory overtime for nurses, better deploy our prison libraries and librarians, and end the state’s practice of letting employee-misconduct investigations drag on for years.
“Our legislative focus is to build on our members’ strengths, so we have the power to better working conditions and to ensure social and economic justice for all Californians,” said Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker. “These bills will directly improve the lives of workers we represent.”
Bill to limit outsourcing
AB 1239, carried by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), would limit outsourcing by making personal services contracts impermissible when they displace civil service workers. Displacement, as defined in the bill, includes layoffs, demotions, involuntary transfer to a new class or to a new location requiring a change of residence, and time-base reductions.
AB 840, carried by Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles), would eliminate mandatory overtime for nurses and nursing assistants in the state prisons and mental hospitals.
In 2001, California’s Industrial Welfare Commission banned mandatory overtime for nurses in the private sector, but the ban didn’t include public sector workers. AB 840 would extend the protection to the public sector. Already, 11 other states have adopted legislation similar to AB 840.
“Mandatory overtime threatens the quality of patient care and the safety of our members and the general public,” said Kim Cowart, Bargaining Unit 17 chair.
The bill is similar to AB 2155, which was passed by both legislative houses last year but which failed to gain the governor’s support. During that fight, hundreds of nurses, nursing assistants and other state employees staged rallies, signed petitions and sent letters to support the ban on mandatory overtime. Local 1000 members plan similar efforts this year to support AB 840.
Librarians protect our communities
SB 343, carried by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), would expand literacy programs for prison inmates and would require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to consider expanding the use of libraries and librarians for those programs.
“Few people think of libraries and librarians as protecting our communities. But this legislation would use our librarians to help prisoners improve their literacy skills so they can find a job after leaving prison instead of going back to the streets,” said John Kern, chair of Bargaining Unit 3, which represents prison teachers and librarians.
Adverse action deadline
AB 769, carried by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), would streamline the state’s civil service employee discipline process by requiring most investigations to be completed in one year.