D.C. Council: Fix the Compensation System for Injured Public Workers

Over 2,000 injured D.C. government employees go through the Public Sector Workers Compensation Program each year. Disability benefits are intended to give injured government workers financial security when injured on the job and help them pay their medical care, rent, and other basic necessities. Unfortunately, due to a decade of poor administration an noncompliance, formerly middle-class injured workers have been driven into poverty. The D.C. Council should act immediately and pass legislation to: Restore the great weight afforded to the opinions of treating physicians to ensure accurate medical assessments of injuries Provide that injured workers will not lose disability compensation while they are navigating the administrative process Enable compensation for mental stress or emotional conditions suffered by workers as a result of their injuries Protect workers with injuries that last longer than 500 weeks, but are still classified as “temporary” rather than “permanent” Bring the compensation program back “in house” rather than contracting with a company that profits at the expense of workers   Take Action >>> Sign the...

Injured Worker Advocates(IWA) testify before city council for rights and benefits

On March 1st, DC Jobs with Justice Executive Director Nikki Daruwala and members of the Injured Worker Advocates (IWA), along with Employment Justice Center testified before the Council of the District of Columbia’s Oversight Hearing on the Office of Risk management Committee on Government Operations. In her testimony, Nikki Daruwala stated that “over 2,000 injured DC government workers go through the Public Sector Workers Compensation Program each year. Disability benefits are intended to give injured government employees financial security when hurt on the job and help them pay their medical care, rent and other basic fundamental human necessities. Unfortunately, due to a decade of poor administration and noncompliance, formally middle-class injured workers have been driven into poverty as a result of their on-the-job injuries.” The coalition made recommendations to the Council and asked them to pass legislation that would reform flaws in the Disability Compensation Program.rnrnWould you like to support the IWA? Please sign this petition http://afl.salsalabs.com/o/4023/c/188/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3758 and help the IWA tell the District Government that they deserve their rights and benefits....

Growing Dream City: A Report on Grassroots Organizing in the District in 2011

by Andrew Willis Garcés and Mackenzie Baris, with contributions by many others Read previous reports: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 rn INDEX+ 2011 SNAPSHOT + Education & Youth + Gender Justice + Police & Criminal Justice + Immigrant Rights & Language Justice+ Labor & Workers+ Housing & Development+ Budget & Community Benefits  2011 SNAPSHOT DC’S 99% PLANT SEEDS, CULTIVATE HUMAN ECONOMY Facing a perennially corrupt and ineffective local government and several years of national bank bailouts for the 1%, DC change-makers turned to each other. Grassroots projects to create a human economy took off in 2011. The two Occupy DC** encampments churned out hundreds of free, daily meals and provided basic medical care and a library for hundreds of visitors, including some who had been recently laid off or evicted. Other volunteer-run projects like DC Doulas for Choice and DC Time Bank continued to expand opportunities for a human-centered, solidarity economy.rnrnJust a few other examples: A new grassroots, all-volunteer foundation — the Diverse City Fund — distributed $45,000 to 23 organizations led by people of color, and the long-running DC Abortion Fund stepped in when Congress blocked Medicaid abortion reimbursement. Several large housing coops consolidated and began to plan to play roles in spreading coop values & housing rights. New worker and consumer cooperatives began exploratory work, like a potential Shaw food coop, a GWU coop cafe, and cooperatives of day laborers and child care workers seeking greater control over their economic lives. And collective farming projects continued to take root in neighborhoods like Edgewood. NEW YEAR, NEW MAYOR, MORE REASONS TO MOBILIZE In 2011 a new mayor took office,...

Security Officers Win Living Wages and Benefits!

After four years of struggling to organize and negotiate with their companies, the 1,500 security officers who are members of SEIU Local 32BJ in Washington, DC won their first union contract on April 10th. rnrnThe contract establishes a minimum starting salary of $12.40 an hour, with 50 cent raises for officers who were already making above that level. The companies will also pay for health insurance for all full-time workers. Part-time officers did not yet gain full health benefits, but they and their families will receive some employer-paid benefits, such as prescription drugs, dental care, vision care and life insurance.The contract also provides 8 paid holidays and 7 days personal days, as well as addressing important job quality and security issues. rnrnThe contract will cover officers working for Admiral Security, AlliedBarton, Guardsmark and Securitas at commerical office buildings in DC. Together these companies employ about three-quarters of the District’s office building security workforce.rnrnThe officers were supported in their long struggle by Interfaith Worker Justice of Greater Washington. Members of the IWJ network participated in delegations to employers, visited workplaces, collected letters, highlighted security officers during Labor Day weekend services, and brought officers to speak at their congregations. rnrnYou can read more in...