Tag Archives: california

Hospital Ratifies First Union Contract

Nearly four years after the initial voting took place to join the Service Employees International Union (United Healthcare Workers West in 2014), more than 500 employees at Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center in Riverside, California, ratified their first contract.

The hospital initially contested the vote, but was forced to recognize the union in November 2016. Among the goals of the workers was to improve patient care by having a voice in decisions affecting them every day. The contract will also allow the hospital to attract and retain quality workers.

Farmworker Unions Ensured Contracts Through Mediation

The California Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling, upheld a law that aims to get labor contracts for farmworkers whose unions and employers cannot agree on wages and working conditions.

The law prevents the employers from stalling contract talk until the workers lose their enthusiasm to organize. Under the law, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board can order mediation to achieve a contract and gives mediators the authority to set the terms of the agreement if there is a stalemate. Unions can seek mediation 90 days after demanding to bargain.

Risking Your Life for Minimum Wage

The dozens of fires that broke out across California in October shed light on the fact that about 20% of the fire fighters—entry-level first responders employed by the state department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire)—were earning just $10.50 per hour, minimum wage. Cal Fire firefighters also work 72-hour workweeks, which is 16 hours more than what local firefighters work. The entry-level Cal Fire firefighters are able to earn comparable wages, but only due to time-and-a-half earned on 19 hours of mandated overtime.

Until their most recent contract, Cal Fire turnover was high, as the pay scale for higher level positions had not been adjusted to reflect minimum wage increases and entry-level firefighters could earn more than their bosses. Also, the long hours are hard on the families of firefighters who often don’t see them for days or weeks at a time. The demands of the job continue to grow with the frequency, costs, and impacts of fires across the state.

BAE Passive Injection Box

BAE Passive Injection Box

BAE Passive Injection Box BAE Audio’s PDI passive injection box utilizes a new transformer designed to lend any signal passed through it a pleasing warm analog richness and mix-ready sound for guitar, bass, keyboards, or just about any instrument. Priced economically at around $120, it features Neutrick connectors, including quarter-inch input and low-impedance XLR output on one side, with duo audio through outputs on the reverse side. A ground lift switch helps tame any ground loop issues. Hand-assembled in California with timeless circuit design, gold-plated PCB, 100% through-hole components, and rugged steel chassis, it holds up well to daily use in studio or on stage.


On Labor Day Workers Demonstrated for Minimum Wage Raise

During Labor Day, the Fight for $15 movement organized protests in 300 cities across the US. In Chicago, hundreds of fast food workers, hospital employees, and airport workers advocated for higher wages and better benefits through a series of walkouts and marches. Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) demonstrated with supporters of the national Fight for $15 movement. Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner recently vetoed a bill that would have raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, arguing that it would negatively affect businesses and reduce jobs.

Fast food workers in Boston went on strike Labor Day to highlight their demand for a $15 minimum wage. In Massachusetts, the $15 minimum applies to home care workers and select companies that have chosen to offer it. A planned November 2018 ballot proposal would incrementally raise the minimum from $11 to $15 by 2022.

The $15 minimum wage has been implemented in New York City, California, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis.

Symphony Education Program Measures Success

California Symphony has measured impressive results from its instrumental education program, Sound Minds. Children enrolled in the El Sistema inspired program have quadrupled proficiency rates in math, doubled proficiency rates in reading, and outscore their peers in standardized testing by as much as 67%.

Of course, an important but immeasurable benefit is developing a love and appreciation for music. Sound Minds offers instruction in violin and cello, as well as fundamentals such as music theory. The program is made up of students from a mostly Spanish-speaking population; 120 children in grades two through six are currently enrolled. Sound Minds was awarded a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts this year.

California Symphony also announced that it achieved a balanced budget for its 2017 fiscal year, thanks in part to quadrupling its donor base in recent seasons. California Symphony musicians are members of Local 6 (San Francisco, CA).