Retirement Security,
Fight for a Fair Economy

Stockton Bankruptcy Ruling Is a Win for Public Employee Pensions

On Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, federal Bankruptcy Court Chief Judge Christopher Klein ruled in the City of Stockton case.  One of the issues was whether public employees should be treated like any other creditor in bankruptcy. The good news is that Stockton city employee pensions are safe and the threat this case posed to public employee pensions everywhere has been averted.

Let me remind everyone that state employee pensions were not at issue in the case.  However, we always watch very closely any threat to the benefits that public employees negotiated and earned with their hard work.  The Stockton bankruptcy presented a real threat to the sacred promise of a pension from an employer to an employee.  

Ultimately, Judge Klein's ruling will serve as a warning to Wall Street that it will not be allowed to drive government entities in bankruptcy to serve its self-interest over that of working people.  This ruling confirms that public employees are not simply another creditor in bankruptcy whose benefits can be compromised to benefit the rich.

Local 1000 is committed to ensuring retirement security for all Californians and today's ruling goes a long way toward protecting the hard-earned benefits that have been promised to working families.



President Walker's Op-Ed on Stockton Case and Retirement Security

Retirement Security for All: 
Wall Street about to win in Stockton at expense of middle class 
BY YVONNE R. WALKER - Published on

A federal bankruptcy judge in Sacramento has announced his intention to ignore years of legal precedent in the city of Stockton bankruptcy case.

Some claim his decision may open the door for cities around the country to use bankruptcy as a tool to undercut retirement security for public employees. His decision is bad for public employees, for citizens in these cash-strapped cities and for the retirement security of our aging population.

The net effect of Judge Christopher Klein's decision, if upheld by higher courts, would be another win for Wall Street at the expense of the middle class, where most workers are unable to save enough to retire.

Local 1000-endorsed Theresa Taylor wins CalPERS Board seat

Members voted to ensure retirement security and affordable health care
Theresa Taylor, the Local 1000-endorsed candidate, has won a seat on the CalPERS Board of Administration, earning 55 percent of the votes counted -- a nearly 20-point margin over the next opponent.

"I want to congratulate Theresa Taylor on her election to the CalPERS Board. Theresa is dedicated to ensuring retirement security and affordable health care benefits for all state workers, and we are delighted to have such a strong voice for workers on the Board," said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president. 

Members made the difference
Just under 24,000 CalPERS members voted, a 20 percent increase over the previous election. "I also want to thank Local 1000 members who stepped up and voted for Theresa and campaigned on her behalf. And although the results are preliminary right now, your efforts really made a difference. Your commitment really made a difference. You should be very proud." 

Taylor is a long-time member leader of Local 1000. A 20-year state employee working at the Franchise Tax Board, she is the president of District Labor Council 786 and has been active in every major Local 1000 campaign in the past decade.

"I want to make sure the stability and security we've earned will be there when we need it most," said Taylor.

"This victory shows what we can do when members step up.  Together we made sure that there is a strong voice on the Board who will stand with working families," said President Walker. "Let's carry this momentum forward to the general election."

In related news, Priya Sara Mathur, current CalPERS Board Vice President and Chair of the Pension and Health Benefits Committee, won a fourth term. Priya represents public agencies on the Board and will continue to be a strong voice for working families.

Lawmakers Look at State-Sponsored IRAs for Private-Sector Workers

California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon's "second mother," his Aunt Francisca, spent most of her 74-plus years cleaning houses for people who had pensions through their employers or were wealthy enough to set aside money in their own retirement accounts.

Members build support for Secure Choice

Working to offer retirement dignity and security for millions

Local 1000 members are volunteering to be part of a campaign to build support for retirement security, including California's Secure Choice program, which would offer options to more than six million California workers whose employers do not offer a retirement plan.  

States should step in to offer retirement options

By Yvonne R. Walker | July 7, 2014

Barbara Williams is a former aerospace worker in California who lost her piece of the American dream when that industry downsized. She lost her job, benefits and hope for a dignified retirement.

Local 1000 stands with Wal-Mart employees

Standing up for better jobs in our communities

Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the US - they rake in billion-dollar profits while failing to pay a living wage to its workers. We're taking part in a strike rally in Rancho Cordova today at 3:00 p.m. as part of our fight to end poverty wages and our economy's race to the bottom. Join us today at 10655 Folsom Boulevard.

Secure Choice Retirement program draws national focus

Members show support through personal testimony
The Local 1000-backed retirement security for all efforts in California are drawing national attention as other states work to develop a plan to help avert a retirement crisis among private sector workers. Members of the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board, including Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker were briefed May 27 about how Maryland, Illinois and Connecticut have joined California and Oregon in adopting legislation to study setting up a private sector retirement savings plan.

Local 1000 endorses Theresa Taylor for CalPERS board

Long-time activist is committed to retirement security
Longtime Local 1000 DLC 786 president Theresa Taylor, who has been active in every major Local 1000 campaign in the past decade, has announced her candidacy for an open seat on the CalPERS Board of Administration.

Fighting for better jobs in our communities

Members help low wage workers organize

Local 1000 members advanced our fight to grow the middle class and protect all workers from the race to the bottom by participating in a global wave of strikes and protests on May 15 in 150 cities across the US and 33 additional countries on six continents."As someone who cares about where our economy is headed and what kind jobs are being created in my neighborhood--this is my fight," said Beth Snyder, a steward at the Department of State Hospitals who attended actions in Sacramento. "Plus, as a former fast food worker myself--and current state worker--I've seen first hand the difference a union makes. All workers deserve a voice on the job and a living wage."