Tag Archives: SEIU

California bill would create health care price controls

government solve all problems
But, but…I thought Obamacare was suppose to reduce the cost of health care?
From Sacramento Bee: California’s government would set prices for hospital stays, doctor visits and other health care services under legislation introduced Monday, vastly remaking the industry in a bid to lower health care costs.
The proposal, which drew swift opposition from the health care industry, comes amid a fierce debate in California as activists on the left push aggressively for a system that would provide government-funded insurance for everyone in the state.
Across the country, rising health care costs have put the industry, lawmaker and employers and consumers at odds.
The proposal in California would affect private health plans, including those offered by employers and purchased by individuals. A nine-member commission appointed by the governor and legislative leaders would set prices for everything from a physical exam to an allergy test to heart bypass surgery. No other state has such a requirement.
“If we do not act now, I’m concerned that health care prices will become unsustainable,” Assemblyman Ash Kalra, a freshman Democrat from San Jose who wrote the legislation, said in a news conference in Sacramento.
The measure faces an uphill battle in the Legislature, where lawmakers are generally cautious about making drastic changes to the health care system and are already juggling a wide range of ambitious proposals.
The proposal is backed by influential unions including the Service Employees International Union, Unite Here and the Teamsters. The unions are frustrated that health care costs are gobbling an increasing share of employee compensation.
“Every dollar that we spend on rising health care prices is a dollar that comes out of a worker’s pocket,” said Sara Flocks, policy coordinator for the California Labor Federation, a union coalition. “This is something that is eating up our wages and it is increasing income inequality. This is a fundamental question of fairness.
Health care providers say price controls would encourage doctors to move out of state or retire, making it harder for people to see a physician when they’re sick, and force hospitals to lay off staff or, in some cases, close their doors.
The California Medical Association, which represents physicians, called the proposal “radical” and warned that it would reduce choices for consumers.
“No state in America has ever attempted such an unproven policy of inflexible, government-managed price caps across every health care service,” Dr. Theodore Mazer, the CMA president, said in a statement.
Under Kalra’s bill, prices would be tied to Medicare’s rate for a particular service or procedure, with that price as a floor. There would be a process for doctors or hospitals to argue that their unique circumstances warrant payments higher than the state’s standard rate.
Paying hospitals 125 percent of Medicare’s rate would cut $18 billion in revenue and force them to trim nurses and other support staff, said Dietmar Grellman, senior vice president of the California Hospital Association. Private insurers make up for the low payments from government-funded health care, which doesn’t cover the full cost of care, he said.
“That’s why their bill is such an empty promise,” Grellman said. “They take money out of the system with rate regulation, but then they don’t address the huge gaping hole that’s created by Medicare and Medicaid.”
In recent decades health care spending has risen faster than inflation and wages while employers and health plans have shifted more of the costs onto consumers through higher premiums, deductibles and copays. Americans spend more per capita on health care than other developed countries.
Meanwhile, a wave of consolidation by hospitals, physician groups and insurance companies has given industry players more power to demand higher rates.
DCG

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California state payroll increased by $1 billion in 2017, twice as fast as previous year

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown is surrounded by unidentified SEIU workers after signing a bill creating the highest statewide minimum wage at $15 an hour by 2022 at the Ronald Reagan building in Los Angeles, Monday, April 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)


No wonder the state wants half of the businesses’ tax-cut savings. Someone’s gotta fund the bureaucrats.
From Sacrament Bee: California’s state payroll – excluding its universities – grew by more than $1 billion last year, twice the rate of growth as the previous year, according to new figures from the State Controller’s Office.
The 6 percent growth rate was not unexpected. More than half of the state’s workforce voted on labor agreements early last year that included substantial pay raises. Money for the raises was included in the 2017-18 state budget.
The largest contract, for Service Employees Union Local 1000, included one-time bonuses of $2,500 for more than 95,000 state workers. That’s worth more than $235 million in total compensation for employees the union represents.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation saw payroll increase by $452 million, or 9 percent. The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection logged an $87 million, or 13 percent, increase in payroll as the state experienced a horrible wildfire season.
The Sacramento Bee’s state worker pay database has been updated with more than 250,000 civil service and California State University salaries for 2017. To search all state employee salaries, visit sacbee.com/statepay.
The number of state employees outside of universities earning more than $300,000 increased from 456 in 2016 to 709 in 2017, a rise of 56 percent. Those employees, however, still make up only a sliver of the state’s workforce.
Most of the highest-paid state workers outside of universities are doctors and dentists in the state prison system. The union for those doctors negotiated a pay hike of up to 24 percent over the next four years early last year. Prison health officials cited the difficulty of filling vacancies as a justification for the contract.
The highest-paid state worker outside of universities remains Ted Eliopoulos, chief investment officer of CalPERS. He earned about $867,000 last year, up from $768,000 in 2016.
CalPERS saw an 11.2 percent return on its investments in fiscal year 2017. That came as stock markets soared, with the S&P 500 increasing by 15.2 percent over the same period.
The state’s payroll fell during the recession a decade ago before stabilizing around 2012. It has risen since then.
Adjusted for inflation, California’s state payroll excluding universities was about 5 percent higher in 2017 than during 2008. The state’s population has grown about 9 percent over that period.
DCG

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California SEIU contract includes 9 to 19 percent raises for many workers

California Gov. Jerry Brown is surrounded by unidentified SEIU workers after signing a bill creating the highest statewide minimum wage at $15 an hour by 2022 at the Ronald Reagan building in Los Angeles, Monday, April 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

California Gov. Jerry Brown is surrounded by unidentified SEIU workers after signing a bill creating the highest statewide minimum wage at $15 an hour by 2022 at the Ronald Reagan building in Los Angeles, Monday, April 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)


From Sacramento Bee: A proposed contract for state government’s largest union includes dozens of special pay raises for certain workers that could increase their salaries by as much as 19 percent next year, according to new details released this week by the bargaining units.
The biggest gains would go to financial experts working for departments like CalPERS, as well as workers with specialized training in competitive career fields.
Most actuaries next year would receive a 15 percent salary bump on top of the standard 4 percent raise that all workers represented by SEIU Local 1000 would gain. In general, they’re financial planners working for CalPERS who earn between $7,300 and $10,000 a month.
In total, the proposed SEIU contract would raise their salaries by 19 percent next year. Many vocational nurses would receive an 11.25 percent wage hike on top of the union’s 4 percent general salary increase.
Other job classifications, from tax auditors to environmental planners, would receive a 5 percent special salary hike next in addition to the general SEIU raise. Custodians, too, would gain 3 percent on top of the standard raise.
The state and its unions regularly conduct salary surveys, and special salary adjustments are intended to keep certain careers competitive with the private sector. A 2014 state salary survey showed that many SEIU workers had fallen behind their peers outside of state government.
Since then, the union and the state have studied how to offer better incentives for those high-demand workers.
SEIU Local 1000 Vice President Margarita Maldonado

SEIU Local 1000 Vice President Margarita Maldonado


“A lot of this came out of the state’s inability to recruit or retain” for competitive career fields, said SEIU Local 1000 Vice President Margarita Maldonado. “The work they do is really good quality work. As soon as (other employers) find out, (the workers) are getting a lot more money” and job offers.
SEIU Local 1000 members will vote on the contract between Jan. 4 and Jan. 17. It published the tentative agreement this week, and it has been hosting meetings for its members to learn more about it. The union’s advisory commission endorsed it last weekend.
SEIU Local 1000 was on the brink of a strike over the contract two weeks ago, arguing that its members deserved better than Gov. Jerry Brown’s initial contract offer. Brown had proposed a series of four annual raises of about 3 percent each, offset by rising employee contributions for retiree health care.
In broad terms, SEIU’s tentative contract looks similar to Brown’s proposal, although it delays and reduces the retiree health care contributions. It provides a $2,500 bonus this year, a 4 percent raise in 2017, a 4 percent raise in 2018 and a 3.5 percent raise in 2019.
Some of its members were angered when they saw that outline. One state worker even created a contract calculator online where SEIU members could compare Brown’s offer to the one SEIU negotiated.
But the new details reveal that thousands of SEIU members across a broad range of careers stand to gain significantly more money than the initial outline suggested. Maldonado characterized the base wage increase of 11.5 percent over four years as the floor of the agreement, with some workers gaining as much as 27 percent through 2019.
The California Department of Human Resources and the Legislative Analyst’s Office have not yet released an estimate regarding the contract’s total cost.
DCG

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California State government’s largest union is edging closer to a strike

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 president Yvonne Walker speaks at a rally for democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Sacramento City College on June 5, 2016. (Photo by Mack Ervin III)

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 president Yvonne Walker speaks at a rally for democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Sacramento City College on June 5, 2016. (Photo by Mack Ervin III)


From Sacramento Bee: SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker has called for a strike vote of the union’s 95,000 members beginning next week, according to a statement on the union website.
The union is trying to get a bigger raise than the 2.96 percent pay hike Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is offering. Brown’s proposal would raise SEIU salaries by 12 percent over four years, but also require its members to begin paying a contribution toward their retiree health care costs.  “We still believe the state can do better,” Walker wrote in a message to SEIU members.
SEIU represents workers in nine different bargaining units. Its contracts for nurses, administrative employees and information technology workers are among the 14 state labor agreements that expired this summer.
SEIU's best buddy...

SEIU’s best buddy…


Walker wrote to union members that SEIU has been in negotiations with the state for the past six months. In July, union leadership voted to authorize a strike vote. The next step toward a strike would be a vote by union members. A vote to strike would not necessarily lead to workers walking off the job.
Before workers strike, the union likely would have to declare an impasse in negotiations and participate in mediation with the state. That process could take months. But surveying members on their willingness to strike could strengthen SEIU’s position at the bargaining table.
Last year, the California State University sweetened a contract offer for the union that represents its faculty after professors voted to strike. As a result, professors received a 10.5 percent pay raise over three years rather than 2 percent raises the state university had been offering.
The Brown administration has been offering raises of about 3 percent a year to most unions. The state’s correctional officers accepted that agreement. Other unions representing attorneys, engineers and scientists are getting bigger raises this year.
All of the new contracts call on state workers to begin to making contributions toward retiree health care. So far, most employees with new contracts are paying about 1.3 percent of their salaries toward retiree health care, with the portion rising to greater than 3 percent over time.
Walker has led the union since 2008. Her union and several others without contracts argue that they sacrificed during the recession to help the Schwarzenegger and Brown administrations resolve budget gaps.
With a better economy, they contend, the state should reward its workforce. “Now that the state’s coffers have significantly improved, we strongly feel that state employees deserve a robust improvement from pre-recession cuts. But the situation has turned bleak and sluggish in contract negotiations,” four union leaders wrote in an Oct. 10 letter to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León. Those unions include two AFSCME bargaining units, a group that represents operating engineers and one more that represents psychiatric technicians.
SEIU conducted a series of surveys recently that showed its members are worried about the rising costs of housing and child care. The union says 39 percent of its members could not afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment in their communities.
CalHR spokesman Joe DeAnda said the Brown administration looks “forward to continued negotiations with SEIU, and hopes to secure an agreement that both reflects the contributions of our hard-working state employees and maintains the integrity of the state’s current budget stability.”
DCG

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Deal struck to raise California minimum wage to $15

minimum wage
From The Sacramento Bee: Gov. Jerry Brown, labor unions and state lawmakers have reached a deal to gradually raise California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, likely averting a fight on the November ballot, sources said late Saturday.
Democratic lawmakers were expected to discuss the agreement privately in a caucus on Monday. Brown presented the agreement to lawmakers last week, a source said.
The agreement, discussed by labor groups in a teleconference on Saturday, comes after intense advocacy by labor unions and statewide polls showing strong support for increasing the state’s mandatory minimum wage beyond its current $10 an hour.
The deal would raise the statewide minimum incrementally, reaching $15 an hour by 2022, and linking increases to inflation after that. Small businesses would be given an additional year to comply.
It also appears to include a concession to labor unions, who advocated for paid sick time for home health care workers, a source said.
The Governor’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday that an agreement had been reached.
Discussions surrounding the minimum wage increase come amid increasing concern about income inequality in the country. According to a Public Policy Institute of California poll last week, 81 percent of likely California voters say the gap between the rich and poor is widening, and 58 percent of likely voters think government should do more to bridge the gap.
government solve all problems
Brown, a fourth-term Democrat, had been reticent about a minimum wage increase, concerned about the impact of rising wages in the event of an economic downturn. In January, he told reporters any wage increase “has to be done very carefully and it has to be done over time.”
The agreement he brokered includes the ability for a governor to temporarily stop future increases in the minimum wage during a recession, sources said. The agreement, if passed, would replace a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021.
The initiative qualified for the ballot last week, even as its sponsor, Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West, continued to negotiate on a compromise.

SEIU's best buddy...

SEIU’s best buddy…


The Service Employees International Union’s state council, California’s largest labor union, has been gathering signatures for its own minimum wage increase, and labor advocates feared competing proposals could hurt the chances of either initiative passing.
Steve Trossman, a spokesman for Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West, said that “if something passes and is signed by the governor, we will look at it and our executive board will decide what to do with our initiative.”
The agreement, if passed, will likely avoid an expensive campaign on the fall ballot, with supporters having raised more than $4.7 million for the effort so far.
DCG

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Minimum wage initiative set for California’s fall ballot

Of course some people will vote themselves a raise without having to actually earn it.
minimum wage
Via Sacramento Bee: A ballot measure that would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021 is headed for the November ballot, elections officials said Tuesday.
The Secretary of State’s Office projected that sponsors of “The Fair Wage Act of 2016” had turned in 423,236 valid voter signatures, more than enough to qualify by random sampling and avoid a complete count.
The initiative’s sponsor, Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West, could choose to abandon the measure as late as June 30, amid the possibility that lawmakers, Gov. Jerry Brown and others could agree on an alternative approach before then.
Tuesday’s proposal would raise the minimum wage, currently $10 an hour, to $11 an hour by 2017, and by $1 an hour each subsequent year until it reaches $15 per hour Jan. 1, 2021. After that, the wage would automatically rise with the cost of living.
Supporters have raised more than $4.7 million, almost all of that from SEIU, United Healthcare Workers West.
The Service Employees International Union’s state council, California’s largest labor union, is currently gathering increasingly expensive signatures for a competing minimum wage increase. Similar to the UHW proposal, it would hike the base wage to $15 an hour by 2020 as well as mandate six paid sick days a year.
The current $10-an-hour wage kicked in at the start of the year, but statewide polls have consistently shown strong support for further increasing the wage floor in California.
Yet advocates worry that dueling proposals by quarreling unions could lead to mutual destruction, with voters rejecting both measures.
Tuesday’s signature update brings to eight the number of ballot measures that have qualified for the fall ballot, including efforts to ban plastic bags and require condom use in pornography filming.
DCG

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SEIU Threatens Picket – Planned Parenthood Cancels Fundraiser

Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette (along with abortion services, they sponsor regular social events called “Sexy Tuesdays) has abruptly cancelled its annual fundraising dinner, which was scheduled for Saturday, May 12.
The $250-per-plate event fell victim to a threatened picket line. Last August, Planned Parenthood’s 179 clinical workers voted to become part of Service Employees Union Local 49. Since November, the organization and SEIU have been trying to agree upon a contract. Frustrated with the pace of negotiations, SEIU let Planned Parenthood and many of its patrons know they planned an action for Saturday night. That was an effective move, given that many of the metro area’s elected officials and their top supporters planned to be at the event, which this year had a “Roman Holiday” theme.
https://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-28614-seiu_picket_threat_puts_kibosh_on_planned_parenthood_gala.html

The cherry on top:

  Cecile Richards, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America is married to Kirk Adams, International Executive Vice President of SEIU!
~LTG

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12% of San Francisco's union bus-drivers missed work

Add this to the 1,001 reasons why America’s cities are broke:
An alarming 12.2% of San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni) workers — all unionized — didn’t show up for work in 2011, resulting in the cancellation of scores of bus runs each weekday, with no warning or explanation for the stranded passengers.

Obama loves the Service Employees International Union!

Zusha Elinson reports for The Bay Citizen, April 28, 2012, that on average, about 150 out of 1,200 Muni operators — 12.2% — missed work unexpectedly during the last three months of 2011. Such unscheduled absences, as Muni calls them, include drivers who call in sick to take care of themselves or a member of their family, drivers who have jury duty and drivers facing disciplinary issues.
Faced with a $29 million budget shortfall and out-of-control overtime spending, Muni is no longer paying overtime to replace drivers who call in sick. And so, the transit agency now cancels 35 to 45 runs each weekday to reduce overtime costs. The cancellations, which have resulted in cuts to bus service, are putting renewed attention on the contentious issue of driver absenteeism.
The absentee rate for Muni drivers is high when compared with the national average of 3% across industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is also higher than the absentee rate for other workers at the transit agency. On a typical weekday, 7% of Muni’s mechanics have an unscheduled absence.
But the percentage of unscheduled absences is not as high as the rate at one other Bay Area transit agency. At AC Transit in the East Bay, the unscheduled absence rate for drivers was 12.5% — the worst in the Bay Area — during the last three months of 2011. AC Transit skips about 20 runs a day, according to Clarence Johnson, a transit agency spokesman.
Muni drivers say the health hazards and stress of the job contribute to the unscheduled absences. Ron Austin, vice president of the union that represents 2,200 Muni operators, says:
“We’re dealing with homeless people and sick people and mentally ill people and children and teenagers while we’re trying to keep everything on schedule. All this pressure rests squarely on the operator. You’ve got to be a baby sitter, and you’ve got to drive this 40-foot vehicle through very congested streets.”
The new contract with AC Transit’s 1,200 drivers requires drivers to obtain a doctor’s note if they are absent for more than three days. And operators are generally not paid for sick days unless they take two or more. Before the changes, some drivers would take a sick day in the middle of the week and then come in on their scheduled day off and get overtime. Now the agency’s new labor contract includes a rule requiring drivers to work 40 hours a week before getting overtime.
~Eowyn

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OWS is a Hard-Left Oikophobe Movement

“You will know them by their fruits.” -Matthew 7:15


Former Congressman Tom Tancredo sounds the warning on his blog that the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement not only is a hard left-wing movement, it has turned violent and therfore has become a “homeland security issue”.
As proof of OWS’s hard left character, let’s look at who its supporters are, beginning with the regime in North Korea, the last redoubt of diehard communism in the world today.
On October 18, 2011, the government of psychopath “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il released a statement praising OWS for facilitating “the working masses’ struggle against capitalism”:

“The Occupy Wall St[reet] movement was an eruption of the exploited classes’ pent-up wrath at the exploiters. It was also an expression of the will to remove the stronghold of capitalism as a whole which brings only exploitation, oppression, unemployment and poverty to the popular masses … [in a] corrupt society where the rich get ever richer and the poor get ever poorer.”

Then there are these left-wing activist organizations and labor unions in the United States which support OWS (from Discover the Networks):

North Korea and the groups above would have us believe that OWS is a struggle by “the working masses” and the “exploited classes.” You mean such as the “exploited” “working class” individuals below? (Most of the following names are from Discover the Networks; some are from my post “Who Are the Top 1%?“. Most of the estimated net worth figures are from Celebrity Net Worth):

These individuals are no more “working class” folk than I am. Unlike me, however, most of the people above have net worths that make them members of the “top 1%” — the supposed target of the Occupy Wall Street movement. And yet, they vocally support the “we are the 99%” OWS movement.
As Bill Whittle explains in his video, they are oikophobes — the products of an affluent America (see “OWS is Occupy Envy“), who hate America and Americans. Is it any wonder that the OWS movement — the product of a psychological and spiritual pathology — has become a pathological stew of internecine squabbling, rat and lice infestation, public defecation, rapetheft, robbery, smearing urine and blood on a food-vendor’s cart, andphysical assault on the elderly?
“By their actions, you will know them.” -Matthew 7:15
~Eowyn

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61% in FoxNews Poll Agree With "Occupy Wall Street"

The waking-up news this morning is that the Occupy Wall Street movement, now entering its 4th week, has spread to cities across the United States and across the world.
The usual (left-wing) suspects of unions (SEIU, teachers, writers) and multibillionaire George Soros’ MoveOn.org are participating in it. [Go here for the list of some of the participants.]
Multimillionaire hypocrite Nancy Pelosi called the TEA Party “neo-Nazi” “racists” and an “astroturf” (fake) movement. But she approves of the Occupy movement, telling ABCNews yesterday, “I support the message to the establishment, whether it’s Wall Street or the political establishment approve of it.”
Commie actor Danny Glover called for more “warriors” to join Occupy L.A.:
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0pCASt7b_I&feature=player_embedded]
But if we go by the results of an unscientific FoxNews poll, a majority of Americans say they share the views of the Occupy movement.
The poll asks you to choose among 4 responses:

  • Maybe. I am not even sure what they want.
  • No. They have no idea how jobs are created or how a free enterprise system works.
  • Yes. These folks are right about corporate greed and what’s happening to the little guy.
  • Other (post a comment).

When I voted at 3:30am, west coast time, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, these were the results:

Of a total of 132,136 votes:

  • Maybe 2.77%
  • No 35.46%
  • Yes 60.95%
  • Other 0.82%

Don’t let the Occupy movement speak for you. CLICK HERE to vote in the poll!
~Eowyn

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