Support the Humboldt County IHSS Workers Struggle for Fair Pay!

forwarded from Shane Brinton <>

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
If you know anyone who is an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) worker or a recipient who benefits from these vital services, you have probably heard about the struggle to win better wages and benefits for homecare workers.
You are invited to learn more about this ongoing struggle – and how you can get involved – at one of the following community coffee meetings later this week:
–Thursday, November 1
9:00 am to 10:30 am

Golden Harvest Cafe

1062 G Street

Thursday, November 1
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm


1924 Central Avenue

Friday, November 2
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Calico’s Cafe

808 Redwood Drive

— These meetings are being hosted by the California United Homecare Workers (CUHW), the union that represents IHSS providers in Humboldt County. Our statewide President Gail Ennis will be available to answer questions, as will local members and organizers.
This is an open invitation to all homecare workers, IHSS recipients, and anyone else who is interested in learning more. We’ll treat you to a cup of coffee or tea and chat about this important struggle.
RSVP appreciated, but not required. Please respond to
In Solidarity,
Shane Brinton
Humboldt Community Outreach Liaison
California United Homecare Workers
AFSCME / SEIU Local 4034
Cell: (707) 382-7270

Eureka Fair Wage Act Meetings EVERY TUESDAY

October 30, 2012  Public Service Announcement


Eureka Fair Wage Act Meetings EVERY TUESDAY

Meetings for the Eureka Fair Wage Act are every Tuesday at 6:15pm  at the Eureka Labor Temple, 840 E Street (9th and E Streets).  More information can be found and questions answered by visiting the Eureka Fair Wage Act website,, or by calling 707-442-7465.  If you are interested in collecting signatures or helping the campaign in any way, wherever you live, please get in contact.  All work for the Eureka Fair Wage Act is volunteer.

Eureka residents filed a peoples’ initiative this summer called the Eureka Fair Wage Act. If passed through a popular vote, the Eureka Fair Wage Act, also called the Minimum Wage Act, would require large employers with 25 or more workers in Eureka to pay a 12 dollar minimum wage.  Eureka Fair Wage Act proponents assert that a higher minimum wage, with a small business exception, will improve lives, make Walmart reconsider its presence in Eureka, boost the local economy, bring employment up, and allow individuals who work full time to rise just above the federal poverty level.  Fair Wage Act proponents are currently collecting signatures to get the initiative on the ballot and need your help.

— Defending the Community

$12.00 An Hour Minimum Wage for Large Employers

We Need 500 More Signatures!

We need about 500 signatures now  to start reversing the damage in Eureka.  We need 10 people that can pledge 50 signatures, or 25 people who can pledge 20 signatures, or 50 people who can pledge 10 signatures.  Or 100 people that can pledge 5 signatures!

Signers must be registered to vote in Eureka.


Thank You Eureka!

Thank You Eureka!

The Eureka Fair Wage Act campaign has just  concluded its best week ever in signature gathering!  We are now past the half way mark on our march towards ballot access.  Despite an almost total local media blackout, the word of our movement for fair wages for the workers of Eureka is getting out.  People are walking up to our tables and signing the initiative.

It is not a done deal, we still have miles to go.  We gained a couple of new volunteers this week but we can always use your help to help put us over the top in the second half of the struggle.

If you can help in any way or if you want to be on our informational email list contact us at

Raising wages with a small business exemption  forces big corporations to spend more of their profits here, through fairer pay for their workers.  It  is a win-win, good for the workers while providing a fresh cash infusion for the struggling local economy.

Walmart and Temp Agency Labor Ready Sued in Class Action

Walmart and two staffing agencies in the Chicago area were named as defendants in a class action lawsuit filed Monday in Illinois. The suit alleges that Walmart, Labor Ready Midwest, and QPS Employment Group violated federal and state laws by denying workers legally mandated overtime pay and in some cases, paying them less than minimum wage for hours worked.

The 20 initial plaintiffs in the case each worked for one of the two staffing agencies and were regularly placed at Walmart stores for temporary work, often stocking shelves in the stores. Walmart utilizes hundreds of such workers in the Chicago area alone, and plans to hire thousands more nationwide during the upcoming holiday season, according to a UFCW press release.


The Gasoline Index

In 1968 an hour’s pay at minimum wage ( $1.60)  would buy almost 5 gallons of gasoline (@ $0.33/ gal.) but today in Eureka an hour’s minimum wage ($8.00) will buy a little less than 2 gallons of gasoline (@ $4.37 per gallon.)

If the minimum wage had been increased at the same rate as the price of gas, the minimum wage would be over $21.00 per hour today.  info @

Commentary: Voting to raise the minimum wage in San Jose is the right thing to do

Commentary: Voting to raise the minimum wage in San Jose is the right thing to do

By Larry Stone, Santa Clara County Assessor

Opinion found at

October 19, 2012

Each time an increase in the minimum wage is proposed, opponents make the same old arguments; businesses will fail and low wage workers will lose their jobs. In the 75 years since President Franklin Roosevelt signed the federal minimum wage act into law, it has been increased a couple of dozen times.

There is no evidence that increasing the minimum wage has caused the loss of jobs or driven businesses into bankruptcy.

Passing Measure D in San Jose is simply the right thing to do. Workers who work hard and play by the rules deserve a fair wage allowing them to live modestly in the community in which they work. A wage of $8 per hour is $16,400 per year or $1,300 per month. That is $500 less than the monthly rent for the average family apartment in San Jose.

One in four Silicon Valley residents lives in poverty. Many are employed, often at multiple jobs, but still don’t earn enough to rise above the poverty level.

San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Santa Fe, NM, have locally established minimum wage rates. A 2011 independent study by economists at UC-Berkeley of fast food, food service, retail and other low wage businesses in San Francisco, found no evidence that increasing the minimum wage was a “job killer.” A definitive study by New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research found that increasing the minimum wage actually stimulates economic growth, as low wage workers are able to purchase more goods and services and stay in their jobs longer, reducing costly turnover and training expenses for their employers.

Opponents also argue that Measure D will harm nonprofit groups. But nonprofits disagree. San Jose’s Council of Nonprofits, representing 200 organizations, supports Measure D, as do the United Way and Catholic Charities.

Measure D will level the playing field, allowing such local businesses as Lunardi’s Markets to compete with large chain stores by requiring the national chains to pay a fair and competitive wage. Nationally, two-thirds of minimum wage workers are employed by major national retailers such as Wal Mart, McDonalds and Starbucks, which are perfectly capable of absorbing a $2 increase in the minimum wage.

Opponents erroneously claim Measure D will require San Jose to create a $600,000 bureaucracy to enforce the law. I believe that most businesses are not trying to cheat their employees or violate the law. The handful of anticipated complaints can easily be handled by the existing city office that currently administers wage complaints, the Office of Quality Assurance. No new bureaucracy required.

Opponents claim that Measure D will make San Jose less competitive. Currently, Campbell and Fremont have different sales tax rates than San Jose, with no discernible impact on jobs or retail sales. There is no evidence that consumers drive from one city to another to save 12 cents on a cappuccino at Starbucks. I spoke with a waiter who has worked at the same restaurant for 20 years. The only time he ever received a pay increase is when the minimum wage was increased.

The Chamber of Commerce argues that the minimum wage should be uniform throughout California. The cost of living varies widely by region. It’s far more expensive to live in San Jose than Fresno or Redding. The statewide minimum wage is not adjusted for regional differences in the cost of living. Nevertheless, the Chamber of Commerce twice actively opposed Assembly member Luis Alejo’s legislation to increase the state minimum wage, calling it a job killer.

It’s all about leadership. Just as San Jose has been a leader in public pension reform and banning plastic bags, San Jose should be a leader in increasing the minimum wage. Measure D reflects our values and our sense of fairness. It means that those who work hard and play by the rules can earn a decent wage, pay their bills and care for their families. It’s the right thing to do. To learn more, visit

Larry Stone is the Santa Clara County assessor.

Minimum Wage Factoids

Minimum Wage Factoids

62% of all Minimum Wage Workers are Women

“In 2011 more than 62 percent of minimum-wage workers were women compared to just 38 percent of male minimum-wage workers. Slightly more than 2.5 million women earn the minimum wage or less, while approximately 1.5 million men do. This imbalance is even more drastic once you consider that women were just 46.9 percent of all employed workers in 2011.”

Raising the Minimum Wage Will Kill Small Business?

“And in 1995, Jack Farris, president of the National Federation of Independent Business claimed that President Clinton’s proposed 90 cents per hour minimum wage hike from $4.25 to $5.15 was “a regressive and job-killing scheme which will put a big dent in small-business hiring.” According to County Business Patterns data, employment in businesses with fewer than 20 employees grew by almost two million workers between 1995 and 2000. Oops. “

2 of 3 Minimum Wage Employees Work for Large Profitable Corporations:

Two out of three low wage workers are employed by large corporations with more than 100 employees:

Raising the Minimum Wage is a Job Booster,  Not a “Job Killer”

“A significant body of academic research has found that raising the minimum wage does not result in job losses even during hard economic times.

$12.00 An Hour Will Raise A Worker Out of Poverty

A $12.00 an hour wage, while not a “living wage,” will lift a worker working 34 hours a week  over the Federal poverty level for an individual in Humboldt County.

The Gasoline Index 1968-2012

In 1968 an hour’s pay at minimum wage ( $1.60) would buy almost 5 gallons of gasoline (@ $0.33/ gal.) but today in Eureka an hour’s minimum wage ($8.00) will buy a little less than 2 gallons of gasoline (@ $4.37 per gallon.)

If the minimum wage had been increased at the same rate as the price of gas, the minimum wage would be over $21.00 per hour today.

The 1% Index

“If minimum wage workers saw the same massive increases in income that the America’s richest have enjoyed since the 1970s, the lowest-paid worker in America today would be making $28 an hour.” –Bill Moyers

Rethinking the Minimum Wage, Bill Moyers:

Today’s Minimum Wage Worker is $7,000 Poorer Than a 1968 Worker

At $7.25 an hour, today’s full-time minimum wage retail worker, security guard, child care worker or health aide makes just $15,080 a year. Last century’s 1968 minimum wage worker made $21,944 a year, adjusted for inflation.

Worker Productivity Grew, Worker’s Wages Shrank

Worker productivity grew 80 percent from 1973 to 2011. The average worker wage fell 7 percent, adjusted for inflation.

The Reduction of Minimum Wage Value Has Cratered the Middle Class

In 2010, our nation’s economy was growing, but most Americans didn’t feel it because 93 percent of the income growth went to the richest 1 percent. The bottom 90 percent of Americans got none. It sure wasn’t always like that. Between 1938, when the federal minimum wage was first enacted, and 1968, when it peaked in value, the bottom 90 percent of households shared 69 percent of the nation’s income growth. The middle class was able to grow.

California Has the Lowest Minimum Wage on the West Coast

California $8.00 Oregon $8.80 Washington $9.04 Nevada $8.25

Raising the Minimum Wage is Overwhelmi​ngly Supported by the Public

This June, a Zogby Analytics survey of likely voters found seven out of 10 supporting a raise above $10 an hour (including 54 percent of Republicans). Notably, 71 percent of young people (18 to 23 years old) favored it. Likewise, last November’s “American Values Survey” by the Public Religion Research Institute showed two-thirds of Americans in favor of a $10-per-hour minimum.

Jim Hightower

Defending the Community

$12.00 Minimum Wage for Large Employers


Get Involved, Your Skillset is Needed!

You Can Vote If You Are Houseless, On Probation, Or Ex-Convict Not on Parole

In California, If you are on probation, you CAN vote. See what the rule is in every US state: .   In California, if you are an ex-felon who is not incarcerated or on parole, you may register and vote.

If you are houseless, you CAN vote.

Someone without a “residential address” simply registers by describing a street corner in the area where they are living (for example, NE corner of J and 8th), then provides a mailing address.

People circulating the Eureka Fair Wage Act can also help you register to vote.

To sign the Eureka Fair Wage Act petition, you have to already be registered to vote, or register at the same time as signing.  You also need to live where you are able to vote for the Eureka city politicians and city propositions.