Wow, what a week it’s been! Local 721 members are taking increasingly bold action to win for ourselves, our families, and our communities so we can make LA County a better place to live and work.;
We are extending the strike authorization vote until November 9 so everyone has a voice. It’s not an easy choice, but the Board of Supervisors may leave us with no other decision – particularly when you consider what’s at stake: clean air, healthcare we can afford, income security, a county-wide living wage, corporations that pay their fair share, and most of all, a safer, brighter future for all children. We are backing up our words with actions. SEIU 721 members, leaders and our brothers and sisters from the 11 other unions that comprise the county workforce stood together to speak with one voice for health care for all. They stood in solidarity with retirees and the elderly, who especially need quality care they can afford.
That’s not all we were up to this week. After that event at the County Federation of Labor, SEIU 721 members and allies led a “Tour of Shame” in Downtown LA to protest the commercial landlords like Brookfield that are starving the region of millions in property taxes by exploiting a corporate tax loophole. Demanding “Which Side Are You On?” Local 721 was there to call out the County for not taking a stand against the corporations that are cheating us of the revenue we need to fund vital services, parks, schools, libraries and hospitals.
One of the centerpieces of our contract fight to “bargain for the common good” is a plan for SEIU 721 to unite around children’s safety and to ensure that the county expands services to at-risk children and families in crisis. These policies would improve the emergency, social and medical services available to so many departments where 721 members work to serve vulnerable populations who count on us every day.
That’s why dozens of SEIU 721 children’s social workers-arm in arm with community groups, public health advocates, parents and children’s welfare organizations-appeared before Board of Supervisor appointees to tell them what is really going on at the Department of Children and Family Services – as many as 2,200 children were not seen last month because there are too few social workers, who are already drowning in up to 40 cases at a time – and how to fix it.
They presented the SEIU 721 common-sense “Children First” plan in a letter endorsed by 60 religious, community and children’s organizations to the Blue Ribbon Commission for Child Protection. These experts listened to their concerns, were impressed that members were using their time at the table to bargain for it – and invited them back to their next meeting! The message we sent in every action this week to stand up for the common good was clear: All we need is the Board of Supervisors to summon the political will to get us there.
Categories: Los Angeles County