Indiana

Open Letter to Mayor Ballard: Indianapolis Needs a Budget That Keeps Hoosiers Safe

Indianapolis Needs a Budget That Keeps Hoosiers Safe

We are Indianapolis workers, public servants, faith and community leaders and we are writing to urge Mayor Ballard to fund the services that keep Hoosiers safe.  Last Friday, the mayor used political maneuvering to slash public safety funding at the eleventh hour after the City County Council reached an agreement on the budget with bipartisan support. This stunt might win the mayor points with his donors, but it doesn’t keep our community safe or help our city move forward.

As the crime rate in our city continues to increase, Mayor Ballard is trying to force our community to accept funding cuts for essential public safety services. The mayor is cutting funding that helps pay to process or defend those accused of crimes, process crime scenes, investigate deaths, operate the courts, run the jails, and provide other public services. We believe that the mayor’s unprecedented action to cut these funds is wrong and are troubled by City County Council leadership’s allegation that his action was illegal.

As citizens of Indianapolis and leaders in our community, we urge Mayor Ballard to reconsider his decision before our city suffers the consequences. Safety should be a priority for our city government. We can’t afford to gamble with our security or the services our community depend on.

 

 

 

Community, Faith & Labor Coalition

Indianapolis Affiliate, Interfaith Worker Justice

 

 

 

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SEIU Local 1 Member Newsletters – October 2012

Catch up on news from your state and around Local 1. (Each newsletter is available in multiple languages.)

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Volunteer for Election 2012

When I was in college, I suffered from a ruptured brain aneurysm. Fortunately, I had health insurance through school and got the care I needed. After I graduated, I was denied insurance by every major carrier because of my preexisting condition. Even the state program was too expensive for me to afford.

But when Obama helped pass the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies could no longer deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions. Now I have good health insurance with affordable premiums. I’m able to go see my doctor without worrying if I can afford it.

I want to thank President Obama for standing up for people like me, so I am volunteering with SEIU Local 1 to help re-elect President Barack Obama.

You can help too! Volunteer with SEIU Local 1 to make sure OUR voices are heard this election. Call the Member Resource Center: 877-233-8880.

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Security Guards Fighting for Better Working Conditions [WIBC]

Security Guards Fighting for Better Working Conditions

By Alex Brown (alex@wibc.com)
5/18/12

Security guards explained their plight to the Workers’ Rights Board Thursday night in hopes of better working conditions.

Three security guards explained their working conditions to a panel of four community leaders. IUPUI Associate Professor Tom Marvin helped facilitiate the event and says they heard testimony about the guards’ poverty-level wages and lack of benefits. “In spite of the fact that two of the guards are working at the site of the new public hospital in Indianapolis, they don’t have adequate health coverage,” Marvin says. “Their employer doesn’t contribute anything toward their health care and with the wages that they earn, they really can’t afford a decent plan on their own.”

Marvin says the guards also mentioned their lack of training which was another concern. James Townsel, a guard with Securatex, is one of the guards at the site for the new Wishard Hospital and says there is a lot of turnaround of security guards because of the lack of training. Townsel says they often work 12 hour shifts with few or no breaks.

Marvin says the panel will write a report on the testimony and will look at possible steps to improve the security guards’ conditions which may include an appeal to the City-County Council. He says the panel may try to pass a proposal through the Council that deals with the training of security guards. He says the panel also hopes employers will become open to bargaining with a union so the guards can have a chance to earn better wages and benefits.

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Local 1 Member Newsletters – Spring 2012

Catch up on news from your state and around Local 1. (Each newsletter is available in multiple languages.)

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Dozens Rally for Good Jobs in Indianapolis

Dozens of security officers, community leaders, and union members rallied on March 16th outside the “Gold Building” at 151 N Delaware in support of good jobs for Indianapolis.

Security officers in our city protect lives and property every day, but many still live below the poverty level with no access to affordable health care. Officers who work for security contractor Securatex say they organized today’s rally to call attention to the negative effects of low-wage, no-benefit jobs on our community.  Indianapolis’s poverty rates and rates of income inequality are rising. Currently, more than 1 in 5 children in Indianapolis live below the federal poverty line.

“I work hard and I take pride in my job,” says James Townsel, a Securatex officer who guards the construction site of the new Wishard hospital. “But after 3 years with Securatex, I barely make enough to live on and I have no health care.”

The Gold Building is owned by Hertz Investment Group. The Securatex officers who guard the building are organizing a union in order to win a living wage and a voice on the job. Officers have reached out to Hertz but the company has refused to support them.

Securatex officers are paid as little as $7.25 an hour. According to a recent survey of Indianapolis Securatex officers, 88% report that they do not have any health insurance through the company. A third of officers surveyed report that they have to rely on public assistance for health care.

“More and more working people in Indianapolis are being forced to rely on public assistance programs just to make ends meet,” says Nancy Holle, President of the Community Faith and Labor Coalition. “We can’t let companies get away with creating poverty wage jobs and then turning around and using our public safety net programs to pad their profits.”

Earlier this week, Securatex officers and clergy held a prayer vigil outside a Wishard Health Services clinic. Securatex officers guard Wishard property but have no access to affordable health care themselves. Some officers report that they rely on Wishard for free or reduced price health care, despite working full time.

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Security officers hold prayer vigil for good jobs and health care for Indianapolis workers


Community and faith leaders joined security officers in a prayer vigil for good jobs on Tuesday, March 13th.  The vigil was held in front of a Wishard Health Services clinic on the city’s near east side.

Security officers in Indianapolis protect lives and property every day, but many still live below the poverty level with no access to affordable health care. Officers who work for security contractor Securatex organized the vigil to call attention to the effects of low-wage, no-benefit jobs on our community.

“I work hard and I take pride in my job,” says James Townsel, a Securatex officer who guards the construction site of the new Wishard hospital. “But after 3 years with Securatex, I barely make enough to live on and I have no health care.”

Wishard Health Systems provides health care at reduced cost to low income communities, but the security officers who protect Wishard property—like Mr. Townsel—have no access to affordable health care themselves and must turn to clinics for free and reduced priced care when they get sick.

“Wishard does great work in this community,” says Assistant Pastor Patricia Murray, Vice President of Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis. “Without organizations like Wishard, a lot of working people in Indianapolis would have no way of getting health care. But it shouldn’t be that way. People who live and work in our community should have access to health care and should be paid a living wage.

Securatex officers in Indianapolis make as little as $7.25 an hour. According to a recent survey of Indianapolis Securatex officers, 88% report that they do not have any health insurance through the company. A third of officers surveyed report that they have to rely on public assistance for health care.

Officers and community allies plan to follow Tuesday’s vigil with a rally on Friday outside the “Gold Building” at Market Square Center, where a Securatex officer was allegedly removed from his post for trying to organize a union.

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Letter to the Mayor – From SEIU Local 1 Members

SEIU Local 1 Members delivered more than 5,300 postcards in support of the Responsible Bidder’s Ordinance. Here is a member reading aloud the letter accompanying the three file boxes full of postcards.

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SEIU Local 1 Janitors Rally for Good Jobs – Three Minute Contract Convention Video

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SEIU Local 1 Janitors Rally for Good Jobs – 10 minute Contract Convention Video

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