On February 14, SEIU Local 99 members and Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra introduced the Summer Bridge Fund for School Workers Bill (AB 621) to the California State Legislature. With this bill, over 284,000 school workers throughout California are saying “no more” to the cruel and unjust unemployment crisis too many of us face every summer.
If this bill becomes a law, here’s how it will work: During the ten months of the school year, classified school workers will be able to contribute one day of pay each month to the Summer Bridge Fund. In return, the state will provide a 2-to-1 match. That means for every dollar you pay into the fund, you will get an additional two dollars back. You will then be able to cash-out all the money during the summer break when work is not available. Read the full text of the bill.
This new bill is the result of all the hard work union members have put into fixing the summer unemployment crisis. Over the past several years, thousands of SEIU Local 99 members have spoken with legislators in Sacramento, signed petitions, and sent emails. Just last year, members pushed our bill (AB 2197) all the way to the Governor’s desk. Although the bill was vetoed by Governor Brown, our efforts have gone a long way to raise awareness of this crisis and gain the support of hundreds of legislators. Many legislators now agree that the system is broken and must be fixed.
We need to continue—and increase—the pressure if we want AB 621 to pass. Take action and speak out against the cruel summer.