Tag Archive for ‘Op-Ed’
Since the Affordable Care Act came online, 20 million more Americans have access to healthcare, including a million more Californians.
For healthcare providers like UC Irvine Medical Center, this means more customers. In fact, according to its last financial report, UCIMC has seen substantial increases in both patient admissions and outpatient visits over the past year.
This is the time of year when hundreds of bills find their way to the governor’s desk.
Behind each is a story: the real life experiences of individuals who would be impacted by these laws. SB 959 (Sen. Ricardo Lara), which is on the governor’s desk, is my story.
As a widening scandal involving misuse of public funds and other ethical breaches by its top brass grips the University of California, The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board criticized UC’s largest employee union for advocating greater scrutiny of potential conflicts of interest at UC (“Let’s step back from UC Davis turmoil”; May 1). The board also criticized AFSCME Local 3299 for legislation that would encourage UC elites to stop squandering public funds on private contractors that exploit low-wage workers.
Even after the tripling of in-state tuition, substantial cuts to student services, employee pension reform, the infusion of Proposition 30 funds and a multiyear budget agreement that increases state funding, the University of California remains on unstable and uncertain financial footing.
At the heart of America’s recurring problems with poverty, income inequality and race lies a major shift in how our economy is structured. Since 2009, so called “temporary” jobs (also known as “contingent” or “subcontracted” jobs) have grown at nine times the rate of traditional, career employment.
There is a difference between acknowledging that a problem exists and solving the problem. Case in point is the University of California’s decision last month to enact a minimum wage that will apply to “many thousands” of its contract workers — custodians, landscapers, food service workers and others who do the same jobs as career UC workers, but are instead employed by private firms who profit from paying poverty wages with no benefits.
With state budget hearings upon us, where does the hostage crisis that began with UC regents threatening to hike student tuition by as much as 28 percent absent piles of additional state money stand today?
When we hear about exploited workers, we often think of people working in other countries for pennies a day, in sweatshop conditions.
Closer to home, we often think of private companies such as McDonald’s and Wal-Mart racing to shift as many of their labor costs onto the backs of taxpayers as possible – forcing full-time employees to work three jobs and rely on government assistance just to get by, while blocking an increase to the federal minimum wage in Congress.
When the University of California’s largest union and its administrators settled a two year contract dispute this spring, each side pledged to work with the other in promoting shared principles like urging state legislators to re-invest in higher education.
This is not a new concept. The campaign to pass Prop. 30 back in 2012, for example, would not have been possible without this kind of cooperation.
In Dwaine Duckett’s commentary “UC doesn’t deserve labor smear tactic” (Viewpoints, Jan. 28), he alleged that it was unreasonable for AFSCME-represented UC employees to demand the same respect and dignity that is afforded other UC workers who serve the same people in the same facilities.