After a hiatus, we continue this week highlighting various SEA/SEIU Local 1984 committees. We talked with Director Cindy Perkins, who is chair of the Fight for $15 Committee, one of the newest committees. Here’s what Cindy had to say:
What does your committee do? What function does it serve for the SEA?
Fight for $15 and a Union (usually called Fight for $15) is an Ad-Hoc committee working to establish a living minimum wage. The SEIU as a whole is strongly behind this effort nationwide.
What would happen if the committee didn’t exist?
Nothing would change. Low-wage workers would continue just as they are, working two or three jobs to barely stay ahead of the rent and the bill collectors, needing food stamps despite working 40 hours a week or more.
How many are on the committee?
Currently three to five people show up at a committee meeting. We have lots of interested people we keep in the loop, but we haven’t formalized a membership list.
Can anyone be on the committee?
Anyone and everyone may and is encouraged to join us, Union member or not. Our most energetic leaders are both SEA members and non-members! Non-member participants are not able to vote on agenda items.
How often does the committee meet, and what kind of time commitment is involved? What’s a typical meeting like?
We meet once a month, typically at 5 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. A typical meeting includes information from the staff about events we might want to be involved in and new resources available, an update from committee members on what they’ve been doing, and a little planning for outreach and for an event we are planning.
Why should members join your committee?
Join because you are passionate about social justice. Join because you’re angry about paying taxes to subsidize hugely profitable businesses paying poverty-level wages. Join because this is what unions are all about! The fight for livable wages is so much bigger than this state, this union, the next contract – this is our opportunity to raise consciousness and make the U.S. a better place to work and live. So join us because when the revolution is over, you don’t want to be saying, “I coulda been part of that …”