Retirement Security,
Fight for a Fair Economy

Local 1000 and allies promote legislation to reduce income inequality

Local 1000 is joining with a broad coalition that includes organized labor and community groups to drive a state legislative agenda designed to strengthen middle- class communities and lift up working families by reducing income inequality.

Among the supported legislation are efforts sponsored by Local 1000's allies in labor. These include bills to require that employers offer sick days to their employees, make it easier for workers to collect lost wages from employers and increase the California minimum
wage to $13 an hour by 2017.

"In December, our union made a commitment to fight income inequality in California and work to preserve middle-class opportunities for future generations; our legislative agenda is just one example of how we are following through on our commitment," Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker said.

Secure Choice Board developing plan for retirement security for all

Feasibility study to help private sector workers avoid retirement poverty

The California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board, which was created with the passage of SB 1234, met March 24 to work on developing a market analysis and feasibility study to implement a retirement savings plan for millions of private sector workers who have no retirement plan through their job.

"We're embarking on a deliberate and thorough process to study the feasibility and then set up this program," said Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker, who is also a member of the Secure Choice board. "It takes time but it's worth it. The whole nation is watching how California solves this problem so we have to do it right." 

CalPERS--Governor take steps to strengthen retirement security

Employer contribution to increase but Local 1000 member contribution rates remain the same.

The state is increasing the employer contribution to CalPERS in order strengthen the retirement fund against future stock market swings and ensure retirement funds remain on stable financial footing.

The move, which benefits all state workers, will not affect the pension contribution rates of Local 1000 members.

Women's History Month

Campaign focuses on gender disparity in retirement security

Local 1000 president featured in documentary urging lawmakers to fight retirement inequality for women

Anthropologist and human rights activist, Margaret Mead once said, "Sooner or later I'm going to die, but I'm not going to retire."
Mead kept working by choice, but studies show that for more than 40% of Americans, including millions of women - the only choice will be between retiring into poverty or working until they die.

Expanding Retirement Security for All Workers: A Simple 3-Step Plan (Huffington Post)

How many of us want to retire with $3,000 in savings? That's the median level of retirement savings held by American households. Not $3,000 a month. Not even $3,000 a year. $3,000 total.

Yes, this is a crisis. Social Security will help millions of Americans maintain financial security through their twilight years. But Social Security is not enough. Americans also need personal retirement savings to keep out of poverty as they age. By and large, working Americans just don't have this savings. They're in trouble.

Some social commentators argue that failure to save for retirement is a personal failure. They insist that the millions of non-savers are simply irresponsible and shortsighted.

Working poor's plight a major issue in year's campaigns

When Rep. Jackie Speier recently spent the night in a homeless shelter, her biggest shock was sharing sleeping quarters and meals alongside a married couple with full-time jobs - the wife a Safeway checker, the husband an employee of OfficeMax.

Brian Beger: A plan that dismisses the middle class (OC Register)

By Brian Beger

It used to be that corporations and governments believed in helping to foster a healthy middle class. They believed - correctly - that a prosperous middle class meant a strong American economy.

In California, today, that middle class is comprised, in large part, of the state's 2 million public employees. They're people like me - everyday teachers, nurses, firefighters and police officers who work on behalf of our cities and counties. We protect our streets, educate our children, collect our trash and keep our tap water safe to drink.

Inexplicably, instead of propping up these hardworking public servants, one politician is working to put a proposition on the statewide ballot this year to rob us of an important part of the American Dream.

Does pension 'reform' redefine the American Dream? (SFGate)

by David Rist

Even if San Jose's lame-duck mayor, Chuck Reed, gathers enough signatures to place his proposed pension-reform ballot measure before voters this November, he will face a steep uphill battle convincing Californians that it's a good idea. That's because at the heart of his crusade is a redefinition of the American dream. In Reed's version, the American dream for millions of hardworking middle-class families will no longer include the modestly comfortable retirement we work for decades to earn.

The mayor's proposal is to remove constitutional protections in our state for public employees' vested pension and retiree health care benefits. In simpler terms, he wants to allow the government to break the contractual commitments it has made to state scientists like me, as well as police officers, firefighters, teachers and others who work on behalf of their communities. His ballot proposal would eliminate vested retirement rights for my colleagues and me, who protect public health and the state's natural resources, along with public servants who keep our streets safe, educate our children, pick up our trash, and keep cities and counties operating.

Retirement Security: The big picture

While extremists and billionaires attack the middle class, Local 1000 fights for retirement security for everyone.

America is facing a retirement security crisis that could cripple our economy for decades, and California is leading the way to solving the problem. 

The rise of income inequality in our nation has eroded the very core of the American Dream; the ability to retire with security and dignity after a lifetime of hard work and responsibility is slipping away from the middle class. More than 45 percent of working-age households have no retirement assets and will face the choice of retiring into poverty or working until they die.

Obama Offering Retirement-Savings Plan for Workers (

By Mike Dorning and Margaret Collins 

President Barack Obama offered more Americans the chance to save for retirement through payroll deductions with a plan for new government-sponsored savings accounts.

The accounts, which Obama announced tonight in a State of the Union Address that concentrated on expanding economic opportunity, will be available to workers who don't have access to a 401(k) plan, administration officials said.

The "MyRA" accounts, similar to an individual retirement account, will provide "a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings," Obama said in the text of the speech released by the White House.