SACRAMENTO – Today, Assembly Labor & Employment Committee Chair, Ash Kalra (D-San José), Assembly Public Employment & Retirement Committee Chair, Tina McKinnor (D-Inglewood), and Senate Labor, Public Employment & Retirement Committee Chair, Dave Cortese (D-San José), sent a letter urging Governor Newsom to reach a fair contract agreement with SEIU Local 1000 that recognizes years of underpay and brings their wages up to par with the high cost of living before the legislative session ends.
“It is unacceptable that the state workers who make up the backbone of our departments, providing crucial public services to millions of Californians, are struggling to pay their bills as they are offered pre-pandemic wages in contract negotiations,” said Assemblymember Ash Kalra. “Needless delays to reach a fair contract prolongs the economic impact on these workers and increases the risk of falling into dire financial situations for many. My colleagues and I are proud to stand in solidarity with SEIU Local 1000.”
After months of negotiations, SEIU Local 1000 members are now working without a contract and presently losing between $300-$500 per paycheck. It is imperative that negotiations are resolved as soon as possible to allow adequate time for the union to ratify a contract and the Legislature to provide oversight and approval in the final hearing of the Budget process this legislative session. If time runs out, 100,000 public servants in California will be subjected to a pay cut of thousands of dollars for at least 6 months before session resumes.
“State workers immediately need a contract that respects their work and recognizes the value of civil service,” said Senator Dave Cortese. “Our state workforce keeps California running, and every worker deserves a livable wage, not more pay cuts that leave people struggling to make ends meet.”
The letter is co-signed by Assemblymembers Dawn Addis, Joaquin Arambula, Marc Berman, Isaac Bryan, Mia Bonta, Lisa Calderon, Sabrina Cervantes, Wendy Carrillo, Mike Fong, Laura Friedman, Mike Gipson, Eloise Gomez-Reyes, Matt Haney, Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Brian Maienschein, Kevin McCarty, Liz Ortega, Miguel Santiago, Pilar Schiavo, Christopher Ward, and Rick Chavez Zbur, and Senators Angelique Ashby, Maria Elena Durazo, Lena Gonzalez, Caroline Menjivar, and Scott Wiener.
Assemblymember Ash Kalra represents California’s 25th Assembly District, which encompasses the majority of San José, including downtown and open space areas in southeast Santa Clara County. He was first elected in 2016, becoming the first Indian American to serve in the California Legislature in state history, and was re-elected to his fourth term in 2022. Assemblymember Kalra is the Chair of the Committee on Labor and Employment and also serves as a member on the Housing and Community Development, Judiciary, Transportation, and Water, Parks, and Wildlife committees.