2014 Update on Summer Unemployment Insurance for School Workers Bill


Thank you to everyone who took action for Summer Unemployment Insurance Benefits. We accomplished a lot. But there’s still work left to do.

We started this year with a plan to increase awareness among legislators and our communities about the need for summer unemployment insurance benefits for school workers. In early February we kicked-off Phase One of our campaign. As we complete this initial phase, we can be proud of our accomplishments:

2-1 UI training Nearly 100 members attended a training in early February to help plan and lead our work. Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra, the author of the Summer Unemployment Insurance Bill, joined us. We followed-up this meeting with a training for more than 30 members who committed to be lobby captains and lead visits to legislators.
delivering-postcards Thousands of postcards to legislators in support of summer unemployment benefits were signed by Local 99 members, family, and friends. The postcards were delivered to the Deputy Chief of Staff of Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins on May 21 in Sacramento.Hundreds more have taken action online, signing our petition on Change.Org.
IMG_8224 Forty Local 99 members took the Midnight Ride to Sacramento on May 21 and met with legislators directly in the capitol to stress the importance of this legislation.
Dem Convention Booth A highly visible booth at the California Democratic Convention in March helped us speak with thousands of legislators and other movers and shakers in the state about summer unemployment insurance benefits for school workers.
Adrian C others with Mckenna reduced All candidates seeking SEIU’s endorsement completed a questionnaire where they stated on the record that they support summer unemployment insurance for school employees. And at the endorsement Town Halls, member asked them questions about their support.
MRT and 99 We met with dozens of legislators during local lobby visits in their Southern California offices to share our stories about how the lack of benefits impacts our families. We also educated and invested local elected leaders in our fight for unemployment insurance. Members are pictured here with L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas.
photo 2 cropped Jim Lira, a Special Education Assistant at LAUSD, gave powerful testimony to the Assembly Insurance Committee on April 23 about his commitment to education and how his own family struggles to make ends meet. After hearing Jim speak, the Committee voted to move the bill forward to the next step in the legislative process.

 That’s a lot of work! But it’s only the beginning …

We succeeded in passing the bill out of the Assembly Insurance Committee. Unfortunately, it did not move out of the Appropriations Committee. A sticking point was the nearly $400 million price tag that was placed on this bill. This is what the state estimates it will cost annually to pay out benefits to school workers.

We know, of course, that the cost is much greater to our families. We are committed to moving forward and stepping up our fight. We are currently making plans to reintroduce the bill at our next opportunity in early 2015 when the next legislative cycle begins.  Let’s show legislators that we won’t give up until we win!

Stay Strong. Stay Active.

Join us at the next meeting of Local 99’s Committee on Political Action (COPA).

Participate in planning for Phase Two of our fight to win summer unemployment insurance benefits for school workers.

We meet every First Friday of the month.  Check the Calendar of Events on www.seiu99.org for details on upcoming meetings or contact Caroline Mello at cmello@seiu99.org


Midnight Ride To Sacramento: May 21, 2014

SEIU Local 99 members took the “Midnight Ride to Sacramento on May 21 and spent a day in the state capitol sharing their stories with legislators about the need to support Assembly Bill 1638: Summer Unemployment Insurance Benefits for School Workers and Assembly Bill 641: A Voice for Quality Child Care. Members also presented Toni Atkins, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Assembly Speaker John Casey, with thousands of postcards signed by Local 99 members and others who support ending poverty for working families by ensuring school workers can receive unemployment benefits in the summer.

The summer unemployment insurance bill (AB1638) was approved by the Assembly Insurance Committee on April 23 and it is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This committee reviews the financial impact of the bill. The cost of the bill is currently estimated at $360 million annually. The bill needs to be approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee by the end of May in order to move forward in the legislative process this year. AB641, which would give Child Care Providers a greater voice in ensuring quality care, is currently being reviewed by the Senate.

Let’s continue to stand strong. We know making big changes won’t be easy. But we’re ready to fight for as long as it takes to win!

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