STATE OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
INDUSTRIAL WELFARE COMMISSION
January 25, 2002
Edmund G. "Pat" Brown State Building Auditorium
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, California
Industrial Welfare Commission
BILL DOMBROWSKI, Chair
DOUG McCONKIE, Analyst
TRACI PILGRIM, Analyst
MARGUERITE STRICKLIN, Legal Counsel
I N D E X
Approval of Minutes 5
Wage Board for Wage Order 1-2001 5
ANN O'REGAN, New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. 6
SHANE GUSMAN, United Auto Workers 7
Petition for Minimum Wage Review and Indexing 9
ART PULASKI, California Labor Federation 9
DAN GALPERN, California Budget Project 12
MICHAEL MORENO, United Farm Workers of America 15
MARK SCHACHT, California Rural Legal Assistance 17
NORM DESAUTELS, International Association of 20
EMT's and Paramedics, Local 209
ROSALINA GARCIA, janitor 25
HOWARD WALLACE, Healthcare Workers Local 250 26
BILL PRICE, Senior Action Network 30
MARLENE REGIS, Californians for Justice 32
SHANE GUSMAN, Hotel Employees and Restaurant 33
Employees International Union Teamsters, Amalgamated Transit Union, Machinists,
Engineers and Scientists of California,
and United Food and Commercial Workers
LILY CHOW, Chinese for Affirmative Action 34
AIMEE DURFEE, Californians for Family Economic 37
PATRICIA BRESLIN, Golden Gate Restaurant 43
New Business 57
Certificate of Reporter/Transcriber 58
(Time noted: 10:10 a.m.)
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: All right. I'd like to call the meeting to order.
Let the record show Commissioner Dombrowski, Commissioner Bosco, Commissioner Rose, and Commissioner Cremins present. Commissioner Coleman called me this morning sick with the flu, so she will not be here.
Item Number 1 on the agenda is approval of the minutes for the public meeting held on October 29th and December 7th. Well, unfortunately, those aren't ready, so we'll skip over that item.
Item 2, reconsideration of whether a wage board should be established to consider modifications to Section 11 of Wage Order 1-2001 in order to permit a meal period to commence after six hours of work instead of five, and, if so, consideration of individuals for appointment to the wage board, and a possible charge to that wage board.
I'd like to call Shane Gusman and Ann O'Regan, representing -- Shane representing the employee side and Ann representing the employer side, please.
MS. O'REGAN: Good morning.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: We need some brief testimony representing both sides' viewpoints, please.
MS. O'REGAN: All right. From the employers' viewpoint, we believe that this request is consistent with Labor Code 512(c), which does permit for a meal period to extend beyond five hours if it's in the best interests of the employees.
In our particular situation at our plant, we've had a long history of having a meal period that has been shortly after the five-hour period. It's something that the team members like. They like the way that the schedule is organized. And we believe that, given that they have the protections of a collective bargaining agreement in place, so they have union representatives who are actively negotiating in their best interests, that in those situations where you have a collective bargaining agreement, you have assurances that the meal period that's established is in the best interests of the employee.
From the employers' standpoint, it's certainly a more efficient process. From the employees' standpoint, it's been something that they have wanted to have throughout their tenure of employment at NUMMI. And we believe that that would be true across the manufacturing industry, that if there's a collective bargaining agreement, you would have those protections in place to assure that the interests of the employee are protected.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Thank you.
MR. GUSMAN: Mr. Chairman, Shane Gusman, on behalf of the United Auto Workers, for this issue. The United Auto Workers at NUMMI support this issue. They've worked this issue out in collective bargaining. And unfortunately, they need a slight change in the wage order to make it for them. Their break happens to fall after the five-hour period in which they can take their lunch. So, this makes it work for them.
We also checked with other manufacturing employee representatives, and it's similar in other industries, and they're okay with this change. So we support it.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Any questions?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Anyone else want to testify on this issue?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Okay. Without further ado, then, I'd like to recommend that we appoint a wage board: on the employer side, we have Tony Fisher, Pat Pineda, Ann O'Regan, Kirby Wilcox, Kelley McKenzie as the alternate; on the -- I'm sorry -- on the employer side -- on the employee side, Pat Caccamo, Shane Gusman, Earlie Mayes, Tom Rankin, and the alternate is Peter Cooper. The chair is recommended to be John Wormuth, and I'd like a motion for adoption.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: I make a motion.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Second.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Okay. All in favor, say "aye."
(Chorus of "ayes")
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: All opposed.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: That passes.
Item Number 3 on the agenda --
COMMISSIONER ROSE: I have a question.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Okay, Harold.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: What's the time frame?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Oh, I'm sorry. Yeah. We'll direct staff to prepare the charge for the wage board, working with Marguerite.
MS. STRICKLIN: If we could have some dates from the wage board members, we can set a meeting, and also some indication of where you might like to have the meeting -- it doesn't have to be in Sacramento.
MS. O'REGAN: Yeah. We had talked about informally whether we could even do this by telephone conference. If that's permissible, that would be expeditious. Obviously, if that's not, then we will organize everyone and we -- I'll work with Shane in identifying a good central location.
MS. STRICKLIN: Okay.
MS. O'REGAN: But we would like to get this done, I think, in the next -- within the next three weeks.
MS. STRICKLIN: You have to have at least 30-day notice.
MS. O'REGAN: Thirty days' notice. Okay, so within the 31st day after that notice period.
MS. STRICKLIN: Okay.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Anything else?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Okay. Item Number 3, consideration of petition requesting the IWC to conduct a review to raise and index the minimum wage in California.
I would ask -- I think Peter Cooper -- and, Peter, I'll just leave it up to you to --
MR. COOPER: (Not using microphone) Yes. Mr. Pulaski will come up with this first panel.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Art? Art Pulaski.
MR. COOPER: (Not using microphone) We'll have two panels.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Okay, however you want to proceed.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you.
Chairman Dombrowski, members of the Commission, thank you for your time and attention. My name is Art Pulaski -- that's P-u-l-a-s-k-i -- with the California Labor Federation. We have a panel of interested individuals on this. We're going to do it in two shifts with you because we can't all fit at the table at the same time. And before -- as I introduce them, before I do, I would like to have the privilege of saying a few words myself.
And I should say that on November 20th of -- I beg your pardon -- of 2001, the California Labor Federation submitted a petition requesting the IWC to conduct a review of the adequacy of the minimum wage, and, following this review, to raise and index the minimum wage in California. Section 1173 of the Labor Code requires the IWC to conduct a full review of the adequacy of the minimum wage at least once every two years. The last IWC review began in November of 1999, which means that we are already some two or three months behind in the process for the required two-year review of the adequacy. It's therefore the IWC's duty to begin this process immediately.
While the two-step increase, amounting to $1.00 an hour, provided a modest improvement in the standard of living for low-wage Californians, it, by any measure you choose to apply, remains a poverty wage.
If you adjust for California's cost of living, California's minimum wage remains the lowest of all the states on the west coast.
In 1968, our minimum wage in California was $1.65 an hour. For the minimum wage now to match the purchasing power that we had in 1968, today's minimum wage would have to be nearly $9 per hour.
If we kept it up with productivity gains for the California workforce, it would then be over $25 per hour, based on productivity gains of the workforce in California over that period of time.
Increasing the minimum wage will create a significant economic stimulus to California's economy, and thus, we call on a minimum wage board to be formed immediately. Raising the minimum wage would not only benefit those workers directly; it would also have a positive ripple effect on the local economy.
I understand -- I haven't read the article yet -- that Alan Greenspan, in this morning's paper, has indicated that the economy is already beginning to turn back upwards, particularly in California. And therefore, those who may argue against this by saying that the economy is in the doldrums should look at Greenspan's forecast.
But also, understand that the impact of raising the minimum wage does provide economic stimulus to the economy. We know that every dollar earned by those workers at that low-wage level will be pumped right back into the local economy, to put food on the table and to pay for other family necessities. Communities and government will also benefit as workers' dependency on public assistance declines with increased wages.
As you remember last time, it took nearly a year from the time we petitioned the IWC until you voted on a new wage. And thus, we believe it is imperative that we begin this process as soon as possible.
I'd now like to introduce several individuals who would like to speak on behalf of this review. And with your good graces, I'll introduce them now.
And the first is Dan Galpern, from the California Budget Project.
MR. GALPERN: Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman, members, Dan Galpern, with the California Budget Project. Before you is my testimony, and I'd direct your attention to the third page that has the chart on the purchasing power decline of the value of the California minimum wage. And then the other document before you is our publication, "Making Ends Meet," to which I'll have occasion to refer in my testimony, which will cover two basic points.
The first is that, as Art noted, even with the increases since '96, including the 50-cent increases last year and again this month, the minimum wage has lost nearly a quarter of its purchasing power since its peak in 1968. And the second is that the minimum wage is inadequate to enable either an individual or a family that depends on a sole minimum-wage earner to make ends meet in California. If the minimum wage had been adjusted to counter inflation since its peak, it would be at $8.88 an hour today. For a full-time worker at this pay rate, this decline represents an effective loss of $4,429 in annual wages.
To reset the wage to its 1968 level, then, you'd need to increase the present minimum by $2.13. And to guard against future erosion of purchasing power, you would also need to index it to inflation.
Now, of course, it all depends on the basis you choose for your comparison period. As I said, 1968 was its peak. If you chose instead 1978 as the base period, the decline would appear to be over 11 percent to the present day. And, of course, because the current minimum is no longer at its historical low point, it's also possible to pick a comparison year that would show no decline at all.
So, what we really need to do is what the Labor Code requires of the IWC; that is, to figure out what an adequate minimum wage is in California. Four decades ago, the IWC attempted to resolve this question by constructing a budget that was comprised of what it regarded as typical necessary living expenses for the day. And it -- that is, your predecessors -- determined that a self-supporting working woman -- at the time, the minimum wage only applied to women in California -- needed an annual income of $2,855. Based on 52 weeks of full-time work, the corresponding hourly wage rate then was $1.37 in 1961, or $8.63 in today's dollars.
Last year, based on an analysis of present-day basic living costs, including housing, childcare, transportation, food, healthcare, and taxes, the California Budget Project found that, on average statewide, a single adult without dependents would need a wage of at least $9.80 to make ends meet without government assistance.
We also looked at the basic costs for raising a family and found that a single parent who headed a family of three would need a basic wage rate of over $20. And a family of four with two full-time workers would need a wage rate of at least $12.50 to make ends meet.
Now, as I noted, these basic budget wages are statewide rates. Depending on where you live, the rates would range from $7.90 to nearly $12 for a single adult with no children, and from over $16 to nearly $26 for a single-parent family of three.
Now, of course, we're not advocating a minimum wage increase to $16 to $26 today. But we bring these rates to your attention as important frames of reference. Even if we consider the costs of living for a single adult with no children, the wage needed to meet the basic cost of living statewide exceeds the IWC's 1961 standard by $1.23 per hour. In other words, the IWC's 1961 standard, again, $8.63 an hour in today's dollars, may still be insufficient to meet the basic costs of living in many areas of the state for a single adult with no dependents. Accordingly, then, we would urge that as a starting point for your consideration of the adequacy of the state's present minimum wage.
Thank you very much.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you.
Through the chair, we would move on next to a representative from the United Farm Workers, Michael Moreno.
MR. MORENO: Thank you, Mr. Pulaski.
Good morning, Mr. Chairman, members. Michael Moreno, Legislative Director, United Farm Workers of America.
I'm going to just talk briefly to two points. The first point is that the people that we represent still do not have the benefit of working eight hours a day and getting overtime. We have to work ten hours a day and sixty hours a week. The other standards in the wage orders, we're getting there, in terms of breaks and meal periods. I think you've done a good job in terms of looking at that and realizing that these people need to be recognized and given those kinds of benefits also.
The other point that I want to raise to you is the stigma that's continuously being attached to committee testimony when the employer side comes up and talk to you about the affordability of paying low-skilled low wages. If you look at the industry, it has become more technical. These people have become more experienced, and it takes up to three to four years in some of these agricultural products, that if you took someone off the street, they wouldn't last fifteen minutes, not because we already know the work is laborious and hard, but because they would not know how to graft to make a beautiful variety of rose, or to go out and pick a bunch of grapes. One field can be picked up to four different times. That's not a person that has low skills, that can go out and do this kind of work. This work needs to be given some recognition so that you can feel good about including them in wage increases. When you're looking at the opportunities that they have, are not very much, if you're looking at what they have to do to survive on a daily basis.
So, I would ask this Commission, as you move forward, to not accept that stigma that low wages should be paid to low-skilled workers. These people are not low-skilled. And beyond that, they're willing to come here and do the work that a lot of people here don't want to do.
MR. PULASKI: Chairman, next, representing California Rural Legal Assistance, is Mark Schacht.
MR. SCHACHT: Good morning, chairman and members. I'm here representing our farm worker clients. I wanted to share with you some information that goes to the factual issue that's before you, that is, whether the current minimum wage is adequate.
I've provided two charts, which show data that have been produced as a part of a survey that we conducted last fall in the four southern San Joaquin raisin belt counties of Kern, Tulare, Fresno, and Madera. We interviewed 1,100 farm workers, 98 percent of whom were working full-time in the industry.
And we asked them two basic questions. The first question was: "If you could be paid a living wage in this industry, one that would provide for all the basic necessities of life, what would that living wage be?" At the time we took the survey, the minimum wage was $6.25 an hour. And Chart 1 shows you the range of responses. And these results are entirely consistent with the data that the Budget Project has suggested to you.
Almost half of the respondents felt that a minimum wage of at least $1 to $2 more would be necessary to meet those basic needs, while more than half felt that the wage needed to be increased from $3 to $5 more an hour.
The second chart reflects the responses to the question that we asked, "What is the number one basic need that you would address if you received a living wage?" And the overwhelming number one answer, in counties that historically have very low vacancy rates, very low affordable housing has been constructed in the last decade, 43 percent of the farm worker respondents indicated that that money would go for improved housing, less crowded housing, better housing.
Interestingly enough, 15 percent responded that the number one need would be in the transportation area; 10 percent trying to get a car or a used car or pay for car insurance.
Eighteen percent responded -- gave responses which suggested that health was a major problem that would be addressed. You see 6 percent seeking health insurance with that additional money, 4 and 3 percent, respectively, seeking regular doctor and dental visits, and an additional 5 percent seeking healthier food for their families.
We think that this survey, because it represents about 2 percent of that total workforce working in raisins at the time of about 50,000, is statistically significant and merits your attention when you consider whether or not to go forward with a naming of the wage board and starting this process.
MR. PULASKI: Chairman, you may, because this portion of the panel represents the more technical comments -- I don't know if you may have any questions for this panel before we move on to the others.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Does anybody have any questions?
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: One basic question. I just talked with someone about this. Are you of the opinion that, should there be legislative enactment or, as we raised the minimum wage last time, by initiative, is the board here still required to review the adequacy of the minimum wage, regardless? Or --
MR. PULASKI: Yes. Under current statute, unless it changes, it's this -- this is the body that we rely on to increase the minimum wage.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Go ahead.
MR. PULASKI: Very good.
We thank the panel, and we invite the next portion of the union panel to come forward, please.
MR. COOPER: (Not using microphone) I think we'll have to have two more panels, just because there aren't enough seats, so -- just take the next seat.
MR. PULASKI: Chairman, representing the International Association of EMT's and Paramedics, we have an employee here with us today, Norm Desautels --
MR. DESAUTELS: Desautels.
MR. PULASKI: -- Desautels -- I beg your pardon.
MR. DESAUTELS: Thank you.
This is the first time I've ever had an opportunity to do this. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity.
I guess, for the record, my name is Norm Desautels -- and it's D-e-s-a-u-t-e-l-s. I am an emergency medical technician paramedic, a member of Local 209 of the International Association of EMT's and Paramedics. And I work in San Joaquin County specifically.
I want to talk a little bit about how minimum wage seems to be impacting the emergency medical service system from my perspective. First, in my community -- and I work in the City of Tracy -- our emergency medical technicians just got to the minimum wage of $6.75 that went into effect in January. Currently, after six years of service, they'll top out at $7.48 an hour.
In the area I work, I have 15 full-time employees that work with me. Out of these, five of them are single parents. Only four of us actually own a home. Considering the cost of rent, childcare costs, and general costs of living, at minimum wage we're basically living paycheck to paycheck.
To be able to make ends meet, we currently average a 56- to 72-hour workweek. Because we're an emergency service, apparently, we only make overtime at over 40 hours. We work 12- or 24-hour shifts, depending on the day.
The California Budget Project had a report in September, 2001, the "Making Ends Meet: How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Family?," that said that a single adult needed an annual income of $20,500. In my community, an EMT averages $22,000 a year. That's only $1,500 over what the recommended income is. However, out of the 15, there are only four of us that are single adults; the rest of us are supporting ourselves and a family.
What does that mean to our employees? The people who choose to work in emergency medical services do so because we want to help others, we want to serve our community, we want to make a difference. We get a lot of people who enter the profession with these high ideals, but it's only a matter of time before they find the practical economic realities of life take over, and they end up having to leave, and they go elsewhere. The In-N-Out burger in my town, they start at $9 an hour.
The current minimum wage is okay for an individual just finishing high school maybe, and living at home. But once someone seeks to move out, establish a family, get married, currently they find they can't do so.
Our emergency medical technicians can't even upgrade to become paramedics. The average cost of paramedic training is $10,000, which is payable at the start of most programs. It's usually nonrefundable, and it has -- and you only have a couple of weeks to decide, once you're in the program; after that, you lose it. At current minimum wage, our EMT's can barely keep up, let alone come up with the money to progress within the career field itself.
In addition, as I said, we work 56- to 72-hour workweek schedules to make the ends meet, but that takes an emotional and physical toll. With our single parents being away from their children, even as a married father being away from my kids that much length of time, it's emotionally difficult. In addition, working that many hours just becomes physically tiring and challenging. This ends up leading to employee turnover. And hopefully, with an increase in minimum wage, we could lessen those needed amount of hours worked to be able to retain the employees that we need.
Just from my employer's standpoint, I know we have difficulty finding people to work. Our company itself has been short-staffed for quite a while. I work for a large company that has providers throughout the state. I work in San Joaquin County, but I know we're having to force overtime to cover shift vacancies. In an effort to get more applicants to work, our company just lowered our standards from being 21 years of age to being 18 years of age to come work for us. And while we can get some good emergency medical technicians at 18, obviously those applicants that are older have a little more life experience, are -- tend to be better employees, they tend to stay longer, you know, they can interact with patients on a better level.
The other problem with the turnover is that, of course, there are -- my employers, they're constantly having to rehire. This creates cost for them, and it might balance out with an increase in minimum wage. But they have to screen applicants, they have to go through the hiring process. Because we're an emergency service, there are pre-employment background checks, there are physical exams. Our brand-new employees -- you just don't hand someone a key to the ambulance and say, "Go out there and go" -- there's a month worth of on-the-job employee training that these people are doing. But they're staying roughly about a year, and then they're moving on, because they just find that they can't afford to survive, or they're having to take up other jobs in addition to the 56 and 72 hours that they're working.
But most of all, I want to talk about how minimum wage is affecting the patient care. Whether it's a nursing assistant working with elderly people in a skilled nursing facility or an emergency medical technician tending to a critically injured person at the scene of an accident, it takes a special person to do that job, to be able to provide caring, compassionate, and competent patient care. To lose someone who has the caring and the compassion to do the job, because they can't make an affordable living doing that job, is a loss to the patient. The patients instead find themselves dealing with an individual who is only working for a paycheck, and who don't necessarily care. Caring about what you do makes all the difference in the world as to whether you do it great or whether you're just doing it.
In addition, to obtain competency in providing patient care takes training and it takes time and experience. Again, like I said, at the current minimum wage, we're losing employees. They're not being around long enough to gain the experience they have to make better patient care choices and decisions. So you're having lesser experienced personnel dealing with patient emergencies. Certainly, any of us, if I'm coming to your home to treat your spouse, your child, your family member, want the most experienced person there to be able to do that. And we're having trouble keeping the experienced. They're not even there long enough to gather the experience.
The increasing of minimum wage, and the sooner we can do that by bringing a board together, what the appropriate process is, I think, would go a long way in attracting and retaining qualified and caring emergency services personnel. It can reduce the economic hardships and uncertainty that exist for those who work in EMS. It would allow those individuals who want to choose to serve their communities and make a difference the opportunity to do so, and know that they can also survive in doing that. And most of all, it would allow employees to be able to focus on taking care of patients and gaining the experience to be able to do so in a better fashion.
And I guess that's all I've got to say about that. I thank you very much.
MR. PULASKI: Very good. Good job. Thank you very much, Norm.
Next, we go to my right, if you will, a janitor, Rosalina Garcia, and she is joined by a translator for your convenience today.
MS. GARCIA: (Through Interpreter) Good morning. My name is Rosalina Garcia, and I work as a janitor in Sacramento for a state building, earning minimum wage. I'm a single mother with two children. It's very difficult to get ahead with my children.
I would like you to calculate how much I earn and how much I have to spend for my children. There's a lot of people who are in the same situation that I am.
That's all I have to say.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you. Gracias.
Next, representing homecare workers -- and I would estimate that there are probably over 200,000 homecare workers working in California -- is Howard Wallace.
MR. WALLACE: Good morning, commissioners. My name is Howard Wallace. I'm with Healthcare Workers Local 250. We represent, statewide, over 65,000 workers now. Among them are homecare workers. We represent about 15,000 of them, and we're about to add another 9,000 to our membership rolls. It's been a long time coming to organize these workers, who have been wholly unrepresented for a long time, who play a very vital role in the healthcare industry, and they save taxpayers a great deal of money for the kind of work they do, taking care of people in their homes, feeding and bathing patients, and aiding them in shopping, all sorts of household needs, where otherwise, those same patients would be in and out of the healthcare system constantly, and at huge cost to the public.
Many homecare workers throughout the state are under extreme hardship, some even living in housing -- in homeless shelters as a result of their inability to meet their needs financially. In San Francisco, happily, we've managed, through a long process of helping, under state law, to create a public authority that will take responsibility as the employer on behalf of the federal, state, and local funds that are received to pay their salaries, who've bargained to the position where they're now getting $10 an hour and benefits.
This is like nirvana for these workers. The turnover in the workplace has gone down dramatically. Where, in the past, workers wanted to hang onto their jobs, they were not able to, they were not able to meet their needs. An overwhelming majority of the workers don't receive sick pay. They can't take off sick leave. They're really trapped in their jobs. And it's extremely hard work. It's not an easy job. It means lifting, sometimes, the patients at home.
But they're in their homes, and very often when they finally do die, they're in their homes or among their loved ones or in part of the community. It's the best way for people who can get by without serious medical attention all the time, 24-hour, to get by, is living in their homes. And they play -- if any of you have relatives who benefit from homecare workers, you know what a blessing it is to be able to live in their home instead of having to be put in a nursing home. And the standards in the nursing homes have never been adequate, the staffing has never been adequate, and the treatment of elderly in homecare -- in the nursing home industry is a national disgrace.
But these homecare workers fill a special niche in the healthcare system that is absolutely vital. And to put them under the circumstances where they can't live adequately, at least as adequately as their own patients and their own clients, is a crime. We need to resolve that, and we need to increase the minimum wage.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you, Howard.
Unless there are -- if there are any questions, unless -- if not, we would move on to the --
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: Yes. One quick comment.
EMT or healthcare workers, not to diminish that occupation, but you have folks making minimum wage who are dealing with patients in distress situations or emergency situations?
MR. DESAUTELS: Yes, we do.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: Is there training? I mean, is there a graduated training program for these folks? Or do you have to have some level of medical training before you even start?
MR. DESAUTELS: They have to attend a basic EMT course, which is 110 hours, that the state requires as a minimum amount of training. Within the company, we provide continuing ongoing in-service training to increase their skills and their competency. But like I said, a lot of folks, after about a year, are moving on.
And part of it is just taking time in dealing with patients.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: And as you get further into the training program, is there a graduated increase similar to an apprenticeship program?
MR. DESAUTELS: Well, like I said, after six years our EMT's will move to $7.48 an hour.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: After six years?
MR. DESAUTELS: After six years. And they average about a 20-cents-per-year increase currently.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: Amazing. Amazing.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: You work for somebody that contracts to a fire district or for a --
MR. DESAUTELS: We are a private ambulance provider, but we are the primary emergency responder for the community that we live in.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: But you don't -- you're not working for a fire department.
MR. DESAUTELS: No, sir.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Any other questions?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Go ahead, Art.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you.
We thank the panel, and we invite the next set of panel to join us.
And just let me say that I've been in ambulances myself. I hope that you never have to watch a loved one be attended to in an emergency situation, but whenever I see that, I hope that if it ever happens to me or one of my loved ones, that we have people who are well paid and well trained and we have continuity of service among them, because our lives depend on it.
As well with homecare, many of us have loved ones in California requiring homecare, and we want those people to be able to have a living for themselves as they care for others. And right now in California, it's not happening. People who are providing us emergency medical treatment and homecare to those who are most in need of caring are ill-treated as the care providers themselves, because we're not affording them a decent minimum wage.
So, next we'll go to Bill Brice, representing the Senior Action Network.
MR. PRICE: Well, good morning. My name is Bill Price. I guess I'm the senior person in the room here. And as my memory goes, this is kind of unfair. I represent the Senior Action Network. We represent in the City of San Francisco alone 29,000 seniors. I'm also on the board of the Congress of California Seniors, which represent over 200,000 seniors in the state.
And the consensus of all these retiree groups is this is much too low and has a negative effect on our children and our families and all others. It's unfair and unjust to workers of California, not only inadequate, but it's shameful. It's just much too low.
I remember back -- I can go back a little ways -- in 1935, I was working in a hotel in Seattle, and I was earning $3 a week as a bellman. In 1935 then, the NRA came out, which was an answer something like our minimum wage. And I was raised at that time from $3 a week to $11 a week.
We're having -- it appears to me that this is just multiplied and multiplied, and the people are being very, very -- treated -- treated very unjust, and it's time that we give a little more consideration. And in my mind, if it was doubled, it wouldn't be enough. But I know it won't be that much. But we do need improvement.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you, Bill.
Chairman, we'll move to my left. Marlene Regis, Californians for Justice.
MS. REGIS: Good morning. My name is Marlene Regis. I'm here on behalf of Californians for Justice. We are a statewide grassroots organization working with communities of color, the youth, and poor people of all colors. Californians for Justice urges the Industrial Welfare Commission to set up a wage board immediately to speed up the process for increasing the minimum wage.
In 1996, it took a ballot initiative to get a wage increase. That was only for two years. The working poor had to wait three more years before they saw another increase. And that last increase was for 2001 and 2002 only. The way I understand it, as it stands right now, there are no immediate plans to increase the minimum wage.
The truth of the matter is that the present minimum wage is not sufficient to live on, in light of the increases of the cost of living. For example, my daughter has to live with me. She's a single mother. She works as a waitress. She earns minimum wage. She has a son. She's been with me for the past two years. I live in El Cerrito. An apartment, studio, one-bedroom, start minimum $1,000. And just to move in, you need $3,000: first, second -- first, last month, and a deposit. And my daughter, earning minimum wage, is not -- she has not been able to save the $3,000 that is required.
It's very short. Again, on behalf of Californians for Justice, we support an increase in the minimum wage for next year, and we really strongly urge an immediate set-up of a wage board.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you very much.
Next we go to Shane Gusman, representing the hotels.
MR. GUSMAN: Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission, Shane Gusman. I represent the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union. I'm also here on behalf of several other unions that our office represents, all in support of this petition. The Teamsters, the Amalgamated Transit Union, the Machinists, the Engineers and Scientists of California, and United Food and Commercial Workers all strongly support starting the process to review the minimum wage and increase the minimum wage.
I think the case can easily be made that the current level is simply inadequate to provide for the basic necessities in life, and certainly not kept up -- not kept pace with other economic factors like cost of living, consumer price index, all those things. I think that case can be made.
So, what is the argument against doing it? Well, the argument is that this would place some undue burden on business. And I think that's looking at it short-sighted. This minimum wage is an investment. It's an investment because you are giving folks, the fastest growing segment of our working population in California, a chance to spend money as consumers and a chance to be less reliant on government services. So, there's a benefit other than to just simply the worker getting the minimum wage. There's a benefit for all of us.
So, I urge you to consider that as you consider starting this process.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you, Shane.
Mr. Chairman, I just did a quick calculation. Marlene's $1,000-per-month apartment with first and last month's rent, $3,000 to start, that's over 20 percent for the first month -- over 20 percent of the whole annual income of a low-wage worker. And remember, there's hardly enough money to buy the food itself. So it helps us understand a little bit better the kind of trauma, economic trauma, that people suffer under the minimum wage.
Next, Lily Chow, Chinese for Affirmative Action.
MS. CHOW: Good morning, commissioners. My name is Lily Chow. I'm an employment advocate with Chinese for Affirmative Action. We are a 32-year-old community-based organization in San Francisco Chinatown. And our employment program helps low-income San Francisco residents finding jobs in blue-collar fields, such as construction, hotel, janitorial, and food service. We help over 600 clients a year. Many of these clients work for a job that pays minimum wage or close to minimum wage.
We urge the Commission to consider raising the minimum wage so people can earn a decent living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
At $6.75 per hour, people can barely pay for their rent, food, and support their family. For example, Julie is a typical client, just as the other testimonies, as Rosalina. She's a single mother of two, just getting off federal assistance. She makes $7.50 per hour. That's the equivalent of $1,200 a month at 40 hours a week. With these earnings, she cannot support two children while she has to pay rent of $1,000 and still have money left for basic expenses, such as food and clothing. So she has to work two to three jobs in order to make ends meet. A typical day for her would be working at Walgreen's from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Then she goes home to cook dinner for her children, and then she goes to work at Commodore Hotel as a housekeeper, from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. And that's a 12-hour workday.
And the finding by the recent study of the California Budget Project also found that a single parent of two must earn a wage of $21.24 in order to meet basic needs. Clearly, the minimum wage is outrageously lower than the necessary earnings in this case, for the mother -- single mother of two.
Another example is May, whose husband is ill, and he cannot work. She has to work two jobs to support a family of four. And she works in a restaurant making dim sum and food preparation during the day from, say, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Then she works as a janitor cleaning office buildings from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. She has a 13-hour workday.
Added on top of everything is the economic slowdown, where entire industries, such as the hotel-hospitality industry, fell under after September 11th. More people have to settle for lower paying jobs, and they end up working more than one job in order to make ends meet. They have no time to spend with their families, to rest, or for leisure. Those things seem to be a luxury. And this situation does not apply to one or two people, but hundreds, thousands of blue-collar workers who are trying, struggling, to make a living in the Bay Area.
It is obvious that the minimum wage of $6.75 is not enough, for we have the highest living standard in the country. Personally, I would never be able to live on $6.75. I wonder how my clients do it every day. They just have to work twice or three times as hard. Therefore, we think it's crucial for the Commission to consider raising the minimum wage.
Thank you very much for your time.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you.
Next, we have Aimee Durfee, Californians for Economic Self-Sufficiency.
MS. DURFEE: Good morning. My name is Aimee Durfee, from Californians for Family Economic Self-Sufficiency, which is a project of the National Economic Development and Law Center. And you have some materials in front of you from us. We are a statewide coalition of over fifty organizations of job training, workforce development, welfare organizations, women's organizations, from all around the state.
And I just would like to spend my short amount of time this morning drawing your attention to the self-sufficiency standard, which describes the amount that's required to live in each county of California, and to just have you take a look at the different counties all around the state. As you know, cost of living varies around the state. Here in the Bay Area, it's astronomical. And if you look at different counties and how much it costs to live, in most California counties a single parent with children cannot survive on the minimum wage. And in many counties, the minimum wage cannot even support a single adult with no children.
So, our organizations urges you to establish a wage board examining the issue of raising the minimum wage.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Commission, from some of the testimony we heard today, it's very clear that we are forcing -- we are forcing hundreds of thousands of Californians to live in conditions of serious poverty. It is the state's responsibility -- there are five people in the State of California that are forcing these people to live in conditions of poverty. There are five people that are forcing that. You are one of them. And we ask you to expedite this process, to examine the value of raising the minimum wage.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Go ahead, Harold.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Mr. Pulaski?
MR. PULASKI: Yes.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Is there any consideration given to -- or, first of all, my first question would be, are any of the minimum wage jobs mentioned, that the people have mentioned today, spoke of, include any health insurance?
MR. PULASKI: We'd have to ask each one of them to give that information. I can't speak for them.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Okay.
MR. PULASKI: In many cases -- in fact, I suspect in the vast majority of cases, there is no health insurance provided along with the minimum wage.
MS. REGIS: I can speak for my daughter. She does not get --
COMMISSIONER ROSE: No health insurance?
MS. REGIS: -- health insurance.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: In the case -- but children can be covered through the --
MS. REGIS: Yeah. My grandson, he's covered through the Healthy Family program.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Right.
MR. WALLACE: Only in San Francisco, for homecare workers, among the 200,000 statewide. It's only in San Francisco.
MR. PULASKI: There is an advantage to somebody, even though they may be forced into the conditions of poverty, of the minimum wage, is that, if they are smart enough or lucky enough to have the opportunity to join a union, that union will work to get them some healthcare coverage. If they aren't fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be in a union, the likelihood of them having any kind of healthcare support whatsoever, even on a minimal basis, is almost nil.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Mr. Bosco.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I, first of all, would like to thank everyone that has testified. It seems like we just went through this procedure, but it's probably just as urgent now that we do something again. And it always helps us to see the faces and the real stories, because they can be quite telling.
And thank you too, Mr. Pulaski, for being here again.
Could I ask what procedure we would go through to initiate the request that the petition is making of us?
MS. STRICKLIN: You -- the choices that you have on receiving a petition are to set the matter for hearings, which would lead to -- which may or may not lead to calling a wage board, or to deny the petition.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: And if we were to set the matter for hearing, would we have that hearing at -- what, our next meeting, if we were to decide, say, today to do that?
MS. STRICKLIN: Yes.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: And that hearing would be a public hearing that all sides to this would be invited to?
MS. STRICKLIN: Yes.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: And then -- we would then proceed from there to appoint a wage board?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: I think what we would do is hold more than one additional hearing, probably hold hearings at various locations throughout the state.
MS. STRICKLIN: You could, at this time, set the hearings so that they would run within days or weeks of each other, so that you don't have to continually have the 30-day notices for the hearings, if you wanted to hold more than one.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: And then, if we were to do this expeditiously, giving everyone an opportunity to be heard and our statutory timelines, would we be prepared then to enact a new minimum wage for -- by the end of this year? Is that realistic or --
MS. STRICKLIN: Well, the time frames then, assuming you called a wage board after the conclusion of the hearings, would be another 30 days for them to meet, the preparation of a wage board report, and then at least three hearings after that, after you received -- based on any proposed regulations that may come out of the wage board or that the IWC chooses to draft itself.
So, that would -- you would have to conclude by November 1st in order for the regulations to go into effect by January 1st of 2003.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: But we could do that if we move along.
MS. STRICKLIN: That's possible, yes.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: Well, I, for one, think that we should embark on that procedure.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: We had additional testimony.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought we had finished the testimony already. All right.
MR. PULASKI: It's fine with us to proceed, Mr. Chairman.
If I may, though, just to remind the Commission that you have noticed -- I understand that you have noticed this already, and therefore, you have begun the process. And you, therefore, have fulfilled the requirements that you can announce the wage board today following the conclusion of the complete testimony.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Any other questions?
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Yeah. Is that correct?
MS. STRICKLIN: The item on the agenda was consideration of the petition. You have the ability to act if you choose to today, or you can set more hearings.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Okay. Any other questions?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Okay. Let's go to the next --
MR. PULASKI: Thank you very much.
MS. DURFEE: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Patricia Breslin.
Are there others who wish to testify on this?
MS. BRESLIN: Thank you very -- thank you very much, commissioners. I will be brief. I was here last month discussing the minimum wage with the Commission, and I will be brief today.
My purpose is not to oppose any review of the minimum wage, but to recommend that employees who receive and pay taxes on tips are recognized as highly compensated employees, and should not be considered in any consideration of a minimum wage increase. It's very important that -- just to make sure that the minimum wage increase reaches the people it's supposed to help.
And my concern is with the hospitality industry and the inequitable wage structure that's generated by every single minimum wage increase. In the 1999 survey that Golden Gate Restaurant Association did, when the minimum wage was at $5.75, our survey showed that tipped employees
-- now, those are your waiters and your bartenders -- they earn an average of $23.66 an hour when you combine their wage with their tips. Now, that was in 1999. Today, add a dollar to that, and that translates to $24.66 an hour.
This last year, in 2001, we did a survey of our members again. Our survey showed that 71 percent of restaurant employees surveyed made more than minimum wage. These were your non-tipped employees making more than minimum wage. But they were not making as much as the tipped employees.
And there's only so much money to go around. Every single minimum wage increase goes to tipped employees, goes to people who are declaring those tips, paying taxes on them. There are accurate records of these tips.
In all the previous testimony heard today, I did not hear one person speaking about the hospitality industry who held up a tipped employee as an example of someone who needed a minimum wage increase. All the people help up were the cooks, the dishwashers, the prep cooks. Those are the people who would benefit. But they won't benefit, because they're making more than minimum wage, for the most part.
Today, I can only speak to one industry. And because of that, I would like to, if possible at all today, submit an application to nominate myself to sit on any wage board that is --
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: May I suggest something first?
MS. BRESLIN: Yes.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: I don't know if we made this clear last time, but this Commission does not have the authority to address the issue of the tip credit. That has to be done through the Legislature in statute. And if you contact Marguerite -- right -- she can give you her phone number off the record -- she'll cite you the pertinent case law on it.
MS. STRICKLIN: Case law, yes.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: We simply can't help you here. No matter how much you testify on tip credit, we don't have the authority to change it.
MS. BRESLIN: I don't --
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: We're superseded by the Legislature on that issue.
MS. BRESLIN: I was given information from another source that exemptions and classifications are allowed.
So I will speak to you afterwards, Marguerite, because a different attorney source had recommended that, yes, there could be exemptions allowed.
And I'm not contradicting --
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Okay.
MS. BRESLIN: I don't mean to contradict. I just mean to --
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: No, it's perfectly understandable.
MS. BRESLIN: -- always bring this forward.
But then, to the other point, I would very much like to put forward a nomination for myself for a wage board that convenes, if it is at all involved with the hospitality industry, the public housekeeping industry. I've had extensive experience as a waiter, as a bartender, for about twenty years before I went into twelve years of human resources. I am familiar with payrolls, what the wage structures are for our industry, and now I'm the executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, and I'm very aware of what's going on in the community.
So, if it's possible to pass this forward today, I would like to.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Just give it over to Traci. Thank you.
Any other testimony on this?
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: A quick question or comment. We don't ever set a minimum wage for industries, do we?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: No.
MS. STRICKLIN: No. It's a general minimum wage order.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: And we don't have the flexibility to do that?
MS. STRICKLIN: I don't think so, no.
MR. PULASKI: Mr. Chairman, may I give a clarification?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Sure.
MR. PULASKI: Thank you.
Art Pulaski again.
In case there was any misunderstanding, it's our understanding that since this has been noticed and you have held a hearing today, that there be no further hearings by this Commission prior to the establishment of the wage board, because it is, in fact, the duty of the wage boards to proceed with hearings. And therefore, there would be no value or need for this body to hold more hearings prior to the establishment of the wage board. That, in fact -- that is the purpose of the wage board.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: I have a question. I don't know if somebody -- AB 181, the Koretz bill to index the minimum wage, was up in Assembly Approps yesterday. What happened? Suspense?
MR. PULASKI: It was held in suspense.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Okay.
MR. PULASKI: And so, the condition of the bill in the Legislature has no bearing whatsoever on the actions of this body.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: No, I was just --
MR. PULASKI: Yeah.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: I understand that.
MR. PULASKI: Yeah.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: I'm just -- didn't have time to follow it.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: So, to clarify, we have the authority today to make a motion to convene a wage board, and at the next hearing, we would announce the members of that wage board and approve that? Is that the process?
MS. STRICKLIN: You have -- you could do that today. You could -- the statute says conduct a full review, and that's a determination that the Commission has to make, whether or not it has conducted a full review of the minimum wage, in order to call a wage board.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: I'm, from my viewpoint, feeling that the employer community is looking at additional hearings, and I would advocate that we hold at least one more additional hearing to hear more testimony on this issue. But I could be outvoted.
MR. PULASKI: May I ask the chair a question for clarification purposes?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Sure.
MR. PULASKI: So, does that mean that, then, the wage board doesn't need to hold hearings because you're holding hearings on their behalf? It's my understanding that the wage board process will be to hold hearings throughout the state on the merits of this question, and that it would, in fact, be duplicative --
MS. STRICKLIN: That's not --
MR. PULASKI: -- for you to be holding those hearings.
MS. STRICKLIN: That's not correct. The wage board would meet in session. It would be a public meeting, people could attend, but it would be the wage board members who would prepare or vote on draft regulations to submit as recommendations to the IWC. The IWC would then hold additional hearings after they receive the wage board report.
MR. PULASKI: I see. So the IWC has the opportunity to hold more hearings following the process of the wage board.
MS. STRICKLIN: That's right.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: I've found that we tend to have no shortage of hearings on any of these things.
And also, am I correct? It seems like our whole modus operandi here was to do two-year programs. That's what we did the last time; we raised the minimum wage last January 1st and then effective this January 1st or thereabouts. And so, we'd be due for another one next January 1st. And then, if we decide to do it again for the two-year, we could do that. And I'm very much in favor of keeping to that schedule. I don't think we should get off of that or somehow forego doing another wage increase.
But I think I would accede to what the chairman requested, that we allow all sides to come in here next time. That will give us probably another body of information that we can be looking over before it goes to the wage board. And, you know, then, as Mr. Pulaski says, for some period of time, it's kind of out of our domain.
But I'd really like to have an initial hearing that, you know, is a little bit broader, without sending out any kind of a message on that being a negative thing.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Mr. Chair?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Harold.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: I would like to move that we form a wage board to discuss the raising of the minimum wage and the index.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Second?
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: Second.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Want to call the roll?
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: I'm going to offer a substitute motion, that we conduct a hearing at our next meeting, a broad hearing that it would be known that all different sides and parties to this will be aware that we're initiating this process, and that we hold that hearing first. That's my motion.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: What's the procedure?
MS. STRICKLIN: Do you accept that as a substitute motion?
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: Yes, that leaves it --
MS. STRICKLIN: I thought he had to accept it as a substitute motion.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: The maker of the motion?
COMMISSIONER ROSE: No, I don't.
MS. STRICKLIN: Okay. You want to vote on the first? Any comment, question?
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: I do not wish to shortchange any segment of the industry. We don't -- or any part of the economy here in California. I think that we've got a good sense where business is going to be. I think, more importantly, we need to review, have a broad cross-section on the wage board. And now, whether we need to have a hearing to do that or just some background of stuff, I would --
MS. STRICKLIN: What will happen is, the wage board will receive from the Commission what it's supposed to deliberate on. And so, it's the materials that you have so far. They will receive nothing else, unless someone else submits something through the IWC for them to receive. And they will base their recommendations on what they receive from the Commission.
I think that's why, in the prior wage increase, there were several hearings to get a cross-section. But that's your determination to make.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: I would think -- I certainly think there's a general feeling or consensus that a wage board is needed to be convened. I think our next hearing would just rehash that issue. I think, more important, like I said, is to get a proper membership on that wage board.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Well, I'd disagree that there's -- everyone agrees that we need to have a wage board. I don't think we've heard enough to determine that. That would be my observation.
Any other comments?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Do you want to call roll?
MS. STRICKLIN: Mr. Dombrowski.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: This is on -- this is
MS. STRICKLIN: This is on the first motion, to call a wage board.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: -- the first motion, to call a wage board.
MS. STRICKLIN: Mr. Bosco.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: No.
MS. STRICKLIN: Mr. Cremins.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: Aye.
MS. STRICKLIN: Mr. Rose.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Aye.
MS. STRICKLIN: 2-2.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: It failed on a 2 to 2 vote.
MS. STRICKLIN: 2-2.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Do we need -- do we actually need a motion to hold another hearing? I don't believe we do, do we?
MS. STRICKLIN: No. You can just direct staff to set another hearing.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: We direct staff to schedule a hearing on the minimum wage for our next hearing.
MR. McCONKIE: With 30-day notice.
MS. STRICKLIN: With a 30-day notice.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: 30-day notice, whatever.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: And the issue being whether we should convene a wage board or not to review the minimum wage.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Yeah.
MS. STRICKLIN: Yes.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Yes.
MR. GUSMAN: Mr. Chairman, just one question. Do you also have to notice, on the public meeting, the appointment of a wage board if you are going to consider that? Notice the hearing like you did for the item today, where you noticed hearing and then, for the public meeting, you noticed appointment of a wage board if the IWC wanted to go ahead with that?
MS. STRICKLIN: You would have to have people submit, prior to them deciding whether or not to call a wage board. This was a special situation here, where there were some -- we had to do some back-tracking. So, the normal procedure would be to have the hearing, have a vote on whether or not to call the wage board. If there is a decision to call a wage board, then names would be submitted for the wage board members, and at the next meeting, appoint the wage board members.
MR. GUSMAN: Okay. Thank you.
MR. PULASKI: Chairman, is it possible to have the names submitted for the wage board so that, following the hearing at the next meeting, the wage board can then be established?
MS. STRICKLIN: I'm sorry. I didn't -- I didn't follow you.
MR. PULASKI: That names be submitted for consideration in establishing a wage board --
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Prior to the hearing? Is that what you mean?
MR. PULASKI: Yes, so that, at the same time as the -- at the conclusion of the next hearing, this body can then establish the wage board at that meeting.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: Well, I already have one nomination here. I don't know what would prevent people from submitting the --
MR. PULASKI: Why not?
MS. STRICKLIN: If you want to submit nominations, there are always -- even on the Web site, there are forms for nomination of wage board members. So they would have a list to call from.
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: I think the question becomes when the Commission officially decides to do it as to when people apply for it or when the names come in. I think they could come in any time, couldn't they?
MS. STRICKLIN: Yes. The question is to set -- whether you want to have that as an item on the next agenda, assuming you vote to call a wage board.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: A question?
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Harold.
COMMISSIONER ROSE: The next meeting, we decide to discuss a wage board. This Commission decides, yes, a wage board is needed. Can we, at that meeting, then say, "The people on that wage board are," and then we'll do the thing? I mean, I'm talking about time, being expeditious and not having another meeting to discuss who's going to be on the wage board.
MS. STRICKLIN: Assuming you have nominations. That's a little unorthodox, but --
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Oh, I'm sure there will be nominations.
MS. STRICKLIN: But I think you could possibly do that. The very safest thing would be to have, you know, a meeting within the next ten days and then appoint the wage board members. But that's your choice.
MR. PULASKI: Chairman, let us not engage in shameful bureaucratic excess.
Thank you very much.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: All right. So we would direct staff to schedule a hearing.
Any new business?
MS. STRICKLIN: I just had, in your packets, just a summary of the lawsuit that was filed in San Diego District Court. And you can just read that for yourselves. That case has been dismissed.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: There was some court action two days ago. Is this different from that?
MS. STRICKLIN: I think that's different, yes.
COMMISSIONER CREMINS: Okay.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Do I have a motion to adjourn?
COMMISSIONER BOSCO: So moved.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: Second?
COMMISSIONER ROSE: Second.
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: All in favor, say "aye."
(Chorus of "ayes")
COMMISSIONER DOMBROWSKI: We're adjourned.
(Thereupon, at 11:22 a.m., the public
meeting was adjourned.)
CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER/TRANSCRIBER
I, Cynthia M. Judy, a duly designated reporter and transcriber, do hereby declare and certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that I transcribed the tape recorded at the Public Meeting of the Industrial Welfare Commission, held on January 25, 2002, in San Francisco, California, and that the foregoing pages constitute a true, accurate, and complete transcription of the aforementioned tape, to the best of my ability.
Dated: February 7, 2002 ______________________________
CYNTHIA M. JUDY