ACTION ALERT!! SEND A MESSAGE TO THE SANTA ROSA CITY COUNCIL NOW!

 
Support ‘Good Jobs and Zero Waste’ for the City of Santa Rosa
 
The Santa Rosa City Council has indefinitely delayed a decision about awarding the waste management contract. The council and city staff now have the opportunity to establish clear priorities for evaluating potential contractors. 350.org Sonoma County and North Bay Jobs with Justice believe it is essential that the city select a contractor with the capacity and track record to implement a comprehensive good jobs and zero waste policy in Santa Rosa. 
 
Please sign the online petition below to members of the Santa Rosa City Council:
 

Close to Home: Staffing crisis at Sonoma County Superior Court

By Matt Myres
The Press Democrat
July 9, 2017

A crisis is unfolding at the Superior Court of Sonoma County that should concern every resident of the county. In January, the North Bay Workers Rights Board, a project of North Bay Jobs with Justice, held a hearing about the working conditions of employees at the court. The workers are represented by SEIU Local 1021. Testimony by workers to a panel of community leaders revealed widespread discontent and declining morale at the courts due to inadequate staffing and a dramatic increase in workloads.

Several themes were evident in the testimony.

 First, understaffing has eroded the quality of court services and limited public access. The number of court reporters has dropped from 22 in 2010 to 13 today, which has caused delays in court proceedings. Court reporters have to rush from one courtroom to another and often arrive late for their next assignment. Attorneys, their clients and the judge may have to wait as long as an hour for the court reporter to arrive. Attorneys often charge clients for the wait, and, if public defenders are assigned to a defendant, the taxpayer foots the bill.

Short staffing also has meant longer lines at the Hall of Justice to process legal documents and to pay fees and fines — and the front counter closes at 3:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. due to inadequate staffing. Court workers must professionally serve residents who are understandably upset by long waits and limited access to the court.

READ MORE

A copy of the Workers' Rights Board "Report on the Hearing and Investigation of the Working Conditions of Sonoma Superior Court Workers" is available here.


Ratto Rising: Local Workers in Waste-Management Industry Score a Victory
By Martin J. Bennett
North Bay Bohemian
June 21, 2017

Amidst the mounting scandals and the unraveling of the Trump administration – the most anti-labor presidency since Ronald Reagan – there was an important victory for the labor movement in Sonoma County.

On May 19th, drivers, mechanics, recycling, and clerical workers employed by North Bay Corporation (a subsidiary of the Ratto Group), voted to join Teamsters Local 665 by a 271 – 31 margin in a National Labor Relations Board election. 

North Bay Corporation had won waste-management contracts for the county and most cities by delivering rock bottom rates. However, an auditor for the City of Santa Rosa in 2016 found that the company is out of compliance with terms of the franchise agreement, including failure to rebuild an aging fleet of polluting and unsafe garbage trucks, inability to meet minimal rates of recycling and diversion from landfills, poor customer service, and operating a substandard recycling facility. 

Many county residents are unaware that Rattos’  ‘always lower prices’ are possible because the company pays less than a prevailing industry wage for drivers and barely above minimum wage for recycling workers.

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Teamsters advocating for better Sonoma County garbage operations
By Kevin McCallum
The Press Democrat
June 28, 2017