SEIU 668’s work reaches far beyond grievances, contracts and other workplace issues. We strive to achieve justice for our members and their families in all facets of their lives. The work we do to achieve JUSTICE FOR WORKING FAMILIES is an extremely important part of the work of our union.
There are many serious challenges facing our union now and moving into 2014. The state financial situation is worse than ever, presenting monumental problems for our members and the services they provide. The 2014-15 budget proposes to increase spending by reducing annual retirement contributions to payments to pensions, while corporations continue to get a free pass when it comes to paying their fair share.
2014-15 State Budget
Governor Corbett’s 2014-15 budget continues to put big businesses first and working families last. This budget is full of false choices and broken promises. Instead of reinvesting into our future, the Governor is short sighted in his approach.
A working family in Pennsylvania generally pays more taxes than a large corporation that is bringing in several million dollars of revenue. This is because of the very friendly nature of our state and lack of accountability given to corporations. It is about time that changes. We need to demand the closing of multiple corporate tax loopholes, reasonable tax rates for corporations and taxation of Marcellus Shale.
We have seen a wave of actions across the nation threatening our rights as workers, recently in Wisconsin, Ohio and now in Indiana. Here in Pennsylvania the Governor has promised to sign ‘Right to Work’ legislation if it were to pass his desk. Additionally, the state legislature has introduced legislation designed to eliminate our ability to bargain for the automatic collection of union dues through payroll deduction.
Our members work everyday to protect the neediest citizens of the state. We are the front-line workers that ensure mental health is provide, food is eaten and people have shelter. However, there has been a war on the poor launched in our state. Funding continues to get severely cut for these programs and bureaucratic red tape is imposed that makes it more difficult for those in need to get back on their feet. It is our moral responsibility to protect this population.
Public employee pensions face a real threat in the immediate future as state legislators, local government and Governor Corbett look for ways to fund the debts the state has incurred by not paying into the employee pension system. Governor Corbett has presented false choice, in regards to the pension crisis, by blaming employees for the money owed to the system.