Scroll down for information on Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave
NBJwJ's 2021 Annual Awards Celebration
SATURDAY JUNE 5TH, 5-7 PM
Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Brookwood Parking Lot
Tickets are now available on EventBrite
Now Announcing Our 2021 Awardees!
This past year has been filled with challenges for us as a community. We’ve been hit hard by the global pandemic, multiple wildfires, massive layoffs, violent white supremacist attacks, loss of healthcare, and an ongoing housing crisis. Despite all of this, though, we have continued to stay united as workers and community to show that we can fight and win! As we look to the future, we know that we need to build a just recovery for all, where we don’t reproduce the same inequalities that preceded the crises. We don’t just want to get back to how things were before, we believe our society can and must do better.
Our awardees this year, stepped up to show real strength and solidarity, and to truly exemplify the idea that WE ARE… PROUD, RESILIENT, & READY!
We are especially honored this year to recognize the efforts of our awardees, who each in their own ways have risked much to take a lead role in ensuring the well-being of workers who were hard hit by the multi-layered crises of fires, pandemics, and economic disaster:
WORKERS RISING AWARD: National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW)
When their employer insisted on cutting health and sick leave benefits during a pandemic, nearly 750 NUHW members at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital responded with a five-day strike that galvanized public support for essential workers and revealed the misplaced priorities of Providence, the hospital's out-of-state corporate owner. As an intimidation tactic, Providence threatened to lower its proposed wage offer if there was any work stoppage, but the workers, who include nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, medical technicians, housekeepers, administrative clerks and kitchen staff, refused to be intimidated and — with support from community allies — ultimately won a new contract with 13 percent raises without any immediate benefit reductions. During the fight, frontline caregivers testified to major issues at the hospital during a Workers Rights Board hosted by NBJwJ. In addition, NUHW organized healthcare workers at Sonoma County Jail, secured a contract at Petaluma Valley Hospital, and settled a first contract at Providence's Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa that provided for substantial raises and job protections for workers who fought for years just to get management to the bargaining table. NBJwJ was proud to stand with NUHW caregivers at each of these facilities!
COMMUNITY RISING AWARD: Movimiento Cultural de la Unión Indígena (MCUI)
MCUI's mission is to reclaim and preserve Indigenous cultures, provide educational information to the public on Indigenous cultures, and implement programs that enhance civic participation and the economic and social well-being of Indigenous communities. As an Indigenous-led community-based organization, MCUI has taken leadership in Sonoma and Napa counties to support farmworkers during wildfires and COVID. Indigenous Mexican and Central American people are often overlooked as farmworkers and experience unique cultural and linguistic isolation as they primarily speak their native languages, including Mixteco, Triqui, Chatino, and Mam. MCUI has been engaging in multicultural and multilingual work to provide traditional healing and self-care resources, interpretation and language justice services, and advocacy for Indigenous communities. Through a weekly multilingual radio program on KBBF and direct community outreach, MCUI has been working to make sure that Indigenous migrant communities are staying up to date on fires, evacuations, power shutoffs, COVID, and vaccinations. MCUI is actively working to build solidarity amongst Indigenous, Native American, and FIrst Nations peoples. NBJwJ is proud to partner with MCUI on a historic participatory research project on the experiences of farmworkers during wildfires and natural disasters.
LEADERSHIP IN THE COMMUNITY: Greg Sarris and The Tribal Council of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
The Graton Rancheria community is a federation of Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo groups recognized as a tribe by the U.S. Congress. The Coast Miwok are from the areasnow known as Novato, Marshall, Tomales, San Rafael, Petaluma and Bodega. The Southern Pomo people are from the area around what is now Sebastopol. Many of the people still live within their ancestral territories. The Tribe has been a leader in our community with a mission of social justice and environmental stewardship. Job security and a living wage have always been a part of their larger mission at the Casino that they own and operate. The Tribe ensured that the Casino was built with Union labor and that the workers working at the Casino were able to have a fair process to organize their Unions. Under Greg Sarris’s leadership, the Tribe demonstrated what it means to be a good employer during challenging times by making sure that workers continued to be paid and receive their 100% employer-paid healthcare during the shutdowns. Most recently, the Tribe has provided their workers raises of $2.50 to $3.25 per hour in an effort to deal with the rapidly rising cost of living and housing in the North Bay. Furthermore, as wildfires have ravaged our community, the Tribe stepped up again and showed generosity and leadership by opening up hotel rooms to fire evacuees.
Please join us as we honor them and celebrate workers across the North Bay at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, in the Brookwood Parking Lot (on the east side of the fairgrounds) on Saturday, June 5th, 5-7 pm
We will be announcing our keynote speaker soon!
Sponsorships available. Download the pdf form HERE.
Workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Testify on Violent Working Conditions & Sexual Harassment
Did you miss our Workers' Rights Board Hearing for the workers at SR Memorial Hospital?
Watch the video of the full hearing HERE!
Full Report IS HERE!
Information for Workers, Renters and Immigrant Community Members who are victims of the recent fires
Here are some links to the most recently updated Disaster FAQs from Legal Aid of Sonoma County. These FAQs cover a variety of topics that can assist survivors while they are attempting to navigate the initial stages of the recovery process.
ALERT! Farmworkers Exposed to Dangerous Working Conditions in Fire Zones
NBJwJ, along with Movimiento Cultural de la Unión Indígena, Latinos Unidos de Sonoma County, Graton Day Labor Center / ALMAS, North Bay Organizing Project, Lideres Campesinas of California - Sonoma Chapter, United Farm Workers, Legal Aid of Sonoma County, and the Food Empowerment Project recently sent an open letter to a number of Sonoma County agencies regarding recent reports of farmworkers being sent into fire zones to pick grapes. Here is a portion of the Community Response on Farmworker Protections:
During the first two weeks of the LNU-Complex fires, second and first hand reports brought to our attention the accelerated urgency and compromised safety imposed on workers that harvested grapes in areas impacted by the current wildfires. The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture issued access verification requests to over 300 employers, including vineyard owners and managers, who brought unknown numbers of their workers into wildfire evacuation zones and into zones with unhealthy smoke levels. Why are access verifications being issued without any transparent accountability? How are their employers soliciting feedback and educating them about the risks involved? We are appalled by the lack of consideration for the farm workers’ health and safety, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic. For a community already facing disproportionate impacts from COVID-19, working in zones with high particulate matter from wildfire smoke may have serious long-term health implications. Our concerns also extend to the stabilization and recovery efforts beginning to happen now and through full containment and extinguishment of the fires.
The Community Response on Farmworker Protections lists a number of recommendations that, if adopted, would help ensure worker safety.
Download the full English version HERE. Download the full Spanish version HERE
Everything You Need to Access Paid Sick Leave
Who has paid sick leave to care for themselves?
Every Worker in California! Governor Newsom Signs Bill Immediately Ensuring Access to Paid Sick Leave for Every California Employee This went into effect on Sept 19th, 2020 and ALL employees are covered for 80 hours
Who has paid sick leave to care for someone else or paid sick leave if a child's school closes?
Every worker who works in Santa Rosa, and every worker who works in an unincorporated area of Sonoma County
Visit this website for an FAQ & specific details about the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance that we passed in Santa Rosa
Information on our ordinance for the County of Sonoma will be up soon but mirrors the Santa Rosa ordinance for workers in all unincorporated areas of the County
Share our social media graphics below via our Facebook page and Instagram page (@northbayjwj)
Download these resources to ensure you are receiving the paid sick leave you are entitled to:
- Here is an informational flyer for EMPLOYEES that covers your basic rights and how to contact CRLA and Legal Aid for support to obtain your paid sick leave. You do not need approval to take paid sick leave. You just need to tell your employer you are not able to attend work as soon as you are able.
- Aquí hay un volante con más información de Tiempo Pagado de Enfermedad en Español
- Here is a letter to give to your EMPLOYER as backup to ensure you get your paid sick leave immediately. There are statewide, city and county resources available at the bottom for your employer.
Recently, NBJwJ Executive Director Mara Ventura was interviewed on bilingual radio station KBBF.
The English-Spanish program on the need for Paid Sick Leave can be heard by using these links:
Escucha la información sobre sus derechos al Tiempo Pagada de Enfermedad aquí:
Download the mp3 audio HERE
Go to the YouTube link HERE
Download this chart with additional info HERE .
PAID SICK LEAVE FOR ALL WORKERS!
As a founder of So Co United in Crisis, NBJwJ and the North Bay Labor Council are calling on cities and the County of Sonoma to pass an emergency ordinance that would give workers 80 HOURS PAID SICK LEAVE for any workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Santa Rosa City Council passed our ordinance effective IMMEDIATELY on
Tuesday, July 7th 2020
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance, effective immediately for unincorporated areas of the County, on Tuesday, August 18th 2021
Employers are required to post this information. These hours are in addition to any hours an employee has already accrued. If your employer has already given you COVID-related paid sick leave since March 17th they may count those hours towards your 80 hours.
Download the chart and full information about your rights
Webinar and Resources:
Workers’ Rights: Critical Labor Protections for Immigrant Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The National Immigration Law Center hosted this webinar on April 15, 2020.
- Safety and Health on the Job
- Using Collective Action to Improve Workplace Safety and Health
- Unemployment Insurance
- Paid and Unpaid Time Off from Work
- State/local responses springing up to address gaps left by federal response
- Q&A and Resources
Go here to watch the video, download the powerpoint or read the resources
National Immigrant Law Center COVID Resources for Immigrant Communities
CA Department of Social Services: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants
CA Immigrant Policy Center: COVID-19 Resource Guide for Immigrants in California
Dolores Huerta Foundation: COVID-19 Resource Guide
CA Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance: COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented People
Click HERE to read the SoCo UIC's statement condemning Sheriff Essex's refusal to enforce public health orders. (Español AQUÍ)
In partnership with North Bay Organizing Project, we are proud to announce the formation of a 13-point policy agenda for the County of Sonoma that will ensure an equitable response to the COVID-19 crisis that puts the collective needs of our community first.
Just as our fires brought to the surface the vast inequalities in Sonoma County, so too has the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than corporate bailouts and commitments to simply not evict families ‘for now’ we need a real community bailout. One in five Sonoma County residents are living in poverty1 and hundreds of thousands are now out of work. Members of our community need to know they will not lose work permanently only to come out of this pandemic owing thousands of dollars to landlords and banks.
We need paid sick leave for workers, we need to ensure laid off workers are guaranteed their jobs back when re-hiring begins again, and workers need real assurances from our elected leaders that they will not be put into enormous debt while billionaire corporations get bailed out. To accomplish this, we must work together. With NBOP we brought 10 organizations together to build this platform and we ask you to join us in passing these policies.
Go to our website at www.SoCoUnitedinCrisis.org to read our full platform and sign the petition!
COVID-19 Support for Workers
We hope you are all safe and staying as healthy as possible. It’s a scary time right now but less so if you stay informed and aware. We wanted to let you know that we are staying on top of the impacts COVID-19 is having on workers and we wanted to share some resources and information for anyone that may be impacted or know someone who is. We are working to spread information about Governor Newsom's expansion of unemployment insurance for workers, identify any employers who aren't following the law on paid sick time, and help provide support for undocumented workers who may be losing wages and aren't eligible for unemployment.
Please download this pdf with resources for sharing widely.
In addition, we thank UNITE HERE for sharing the following fact sheets on the Emergency Relief for both workers and businesses. Feel free to download and share:
Emergency Relief Available to Workers
Emergency Relief Available to Businesses
This info will also be posted on our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/nbjwj. Please note that our office will be closed but you can still reach us at 707-293-2863 or [email protected]
Like everything else, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge interruption in our Minimum Wage Campaign. However, the work continues, to the extent possible, as workers will need this raise more than ever, once workers are back in the workplace, with much ground to make up in terms of lost wages.
Using our report from the UC Berekely Labor Center that we commissioned in 2018, ("The State of Working Sonoma 2018") four North Bay cities have passed minimum wage ordinances: Sonoma, Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Novato. We still hope to pass such ordinances in Sebastopol, Cotati and for the County of Sonoma in 2020. The Good News: In July 2020, thousands of North Bay workers will be due for a raise!
Click HERE to visit our Raise the Wage Campaign page for petitions and more information.
SANTA ROSA CITY COUNCIL PASSES OUR $15 MINIMUM WAGE ORDINANCE IN A UNANIMOUS VOTE!
See photos HERE!
Thank you Santa Rosa City Council for taking a bold and principled stand for the most vulnerable workers in our community!
Blazing a Trail for the Green New Deal in the North Bay
One of the best ways to ensure the labor standards of the Green New Deal come alive in the North Bay is to:
- Support our local pre-apprenticeship program and construction apprenticeship programs. These FREE schools provide the highest level of training to any construction worker, and provide a direct pathway into a career with $25+ an hour wages, workman's comp protections, access to healthcare, and upward mobility. But...
- 70% of our local construction workers are commuting out of Sonoma County every day because our local elected officials are not asking any of our local developers to be using local workers. So the second best thing you can do is call/email your city council-members and ask that all public projects, retail and commercial, schools, and most importantly affordable housing only be built with a Project Labor Agreement (PLA)!! PLA's are the ONLY way that we can ensure local workers are rebuilding in the North Bay, and are guaranteed livable wages and safety standards. The Pre-Apprenticeship program will soon offer all-female cohorts and Spanish co-horts, because a pathway to the middle class needs to prioritize folks of color, immigrant workers and women who are often exploited by bad developers.
- Check out our report: Apprenticeship Programs are Building Career Opportunities for Women and People of Color. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REPORT