The insensitive callousness of the Democrats came through during the budget process this month in one glaring example of the true priorities of the majority party. There was an item that came up in the Budget and Fiscal Review meeting where more funding for the developmentally disabled was requested. I simply asked how that squared with the efforts by SEIU to replace individuals with this very need at a state prison facility in Stockton.
Replacing an outsourced service by a nonprofit firm was proposed so that dues paying public employee union members, with their higher salaries, first-cabin medical insurance benefits and a wonderful PEPRA defined benefit pension plan, would be hired instead. The justification was the “threat” of a lawsuit. I told my Democrat colleagues to have SEIU bring it on. It was time to stand up to this unprofessional and unbecoming bargaining unit behavior.
It turns out that union greed trumps developmentally disabled individuals who are doing an admirable job as outside contract service providers. Even when the Governor makes appointments to the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. The supposed compassionate liberals continue to display their hypocrisy.
With a dwindling journalism population, you wonder if anyone is really listening to these budget hearings. Surely, one could see that public employee unions had bought the Legislature through campaign contributions to elect their candidates and they now are demanding payback. Such is the joy of this massive, but legal, conflict of interest.
The whole scenario brought back memories of last year, when I started asking over and over, “who’s your Daddy?” Who runs this place? It’s obviously labor unions (see MOORLACH UPDATE — AB 1250 Labor Dominance — July 13, 2017 july 13, 2017 john moorlach).
At the time, this nonsense did receive some television media attention.
CTNS via Fresno TV Stations: KGPE and KSEE.
I pushed back on this tragic budget trailer bill modification during a Budget Conference Committee meeting. So, to placate everyone, the Democrats split the baby in half and they felt absolved that only half of the contract was being terminated.
You just can’t make this stuff up. The OC Register‘s and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin‘s lead editorials get it in their piece below.
Sacramento backs SEIU over disabled workers at Stockton health care facility
By opinion |
Several people with disabilities will be out of work soon after the SEIU 1000 union complained government workers should be doing their jobs.
Since 2016, PRIDE Industries has employed mostly disabled Californians to perform contracted janitorial work at the California Heath Care Facility. About 120 of the 217 PRIDE employees at the facility have a mental or physical disability.
By all accounts, the contract with PRIDE Industries has been a benefit to the facility, all the while giving people with disabilities good-paying work. But SEIU 1000, which represents government custodial workers, didn’t like the competition, and threatened to sue the state for contracting with non-public sector workers.
Now, SEIU 1000 has forced the hand of the Legislature to shift half of the jobs held by contracted disabled workers to civil service positions, a 50-50 split aimed at appeasing SEIU while allowing at least half of the disabled workers to continue working.
“This is bullying by government at its worst,” as state Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, put it at a budget hearing.
Indeed, this whole episode encapsulates much of what is wrong with California government. It highlights the disproportionate power of public-sector unions, the eagerness of state Democrats to bend to the will of public sector unions and the narrow self-interest of those unions.
PRIDE Industries took up the work at the California Health Care Facility after an audit found deficiencies in cleanliness and sanitation. They not only were solving a problem in need of a solution, but they were doing so with the added benefit of providing work to Californians with mental and physical disabilities.
Only in the world of public sector unions like SEIU 1000 is there a problem with that.
A review by the Department of Finance weighing the pros and cons of the contract with PRIDE Industries underscores this point.
According to the analysis by the DOF, PRIDE “is currently cleaning the facility to International Sanitary Supply Association standards, and has proven they can complete the job.” So there was no problem with them actually doing the work; they were doing it and doing it well.
The DOF also said that PRIDE’s ability to provide “all of the required staff” mitigates recruiting and retention issues “that have been common for institutional janitorial programs throughout the state.” So they were doing it well without the problems commonly seen across California.
PRIDE was also noted to require training and certification for of its employees, ensuring they can continue to do their jobs properly. On top of it all, the DOF noted the contract with PRIDE requires lower general fund expenditures than any alternative.
The one knock against them? The “SEIU grievance.”
Unfortunately, an attempt by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, to keep all of the PRIDE positions in place failed to advance.
Disabled workers will now lose their jobs, not because they weren’t qualified or doing a good job, but because a special interest group didn’t want the competition. This should be a lesson to anyone who doesn’t understand just how low the unions will go to prevent contracting with the private sector and preserve their power.
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