2021 Political Action Demands for NC General Assembly

May 12, 2021

UE150 Political Action Day

Wednesday, May 19

NC General Assembly, 16 W. Jones Street, Raleigh
9:00am – Orientation and Training
10:30am – Meeting with Legislators
12:30pm – Press conference

Join us in demanding:

1. American Recovery Plan dollars should be spent immediately to meet the needs of front-line essential workers, including hazard premium back-pay.

2. Roll back the 2013 tax changes. According to the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, rescinding the 2013 tax changes would provide about $2 billion annually. Tax the corporations and wealthy to fully fund public services and avoid lay-offs and budget cuts. 

3. Access the Rainy Day Fund. The state of North Carolina government has a $1.2 billion Rainy Day Fund. According to state law, up to 7.5% of the current $6 billion plus state budget can come from the rainy day fund during an emergency.

4. Repeal the Ban on Collective Bargaining, GS 95-98

Support Senate Bill 710 & House Bill 586

5. Hazard Premium Pay Back-Pay for all State & City Workers

All state and city workers that worked through the pandemic should get paid hazard premium pay for the entirety of the Governor’s Declared State of Emergency for Coronavirus pandemic at the rate of 10%. Healthcare workers should receive 25%. Those working directly with COVID+ patients should receive 50%, as was done by DHHS for most of the pandemic, but ended Jan 31. 

6. End Understaffing in DHHS State Operated Facilities

Many DHHS facilities are facing 20-30% of positions being chronically empty. The current understaffing leads to unnecessary accidents, write ups, and terminations and does not allow workers to take leave time & sick time to recover, causing burn out and high turnover. Streamline hiring process and fund a Safe Staffing Task Force to improve retention.

7. No Lay-offs or furloughs!

The UNC System, the state Department of Transportation and other public entities plan lay-offs and furloughs in coming months. There is plenty of public money to fill these budget holes.

8. End Wage Compression, In-Range Salary adjustments and Step Pay Plans for state and city workers

9. Mental Health & Municipal Workers Bill of Rights

Reintroduce HB 139 from 2017, sponsored by Rep. Larry Bell (D-Wayne)

10. Affordable healthcare for all workers – Medicare for All!

• Expand Medicaid 

• State and local government should investigate how much money would be saved by passage of US Congressional Bill HR 1976 for expanded and improved Medicare for all.

• Improved and lower costs for State Health and Dental Insurance, including for graduate workers.

11. Pay increases for all workers!

• All state and city workers need a $3,000 across-the-board raise, plus in-range salary adjustments based on years of service to help end wage compression as a result of the last year’s wage increase to $15/hr.

• In the UNC system, the minimum graduate employee’s stipends need to be raised to $11,000 per semester.

• Raise of the overall minimum wage for all workers to $15 per hour.

12. We should not have to pay to come to work!

• No/ lower parking fees for UNC system and all state workers.

• No/ lower student fees for all graduate employees in UNC system.

• Free bus passes for public service workers.

13. Institutionalize Meet & Confer in public sector workplaces

14. Workplace Safety

• Immediately implement COVID-19 emergency workplace standards

• Install HEPA filters in all DHHS State Operated Healthcare Facilities

• Rebuild the NC Department of Labor’s capacity with adequate staffing and funding, including quickly filling all vacancies for OSHA inspectors with salary increases for all inspectors and enforcement units; training and new complaint systems; increased bilingual capacity; and enhanced transparency.

• DHHS facilities need more realistic training.

• All state and cities should be expected to comply with all National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) standards including hourly break times during excessive heat and others.

15. No racism in the workplace, communities or public institutions!

• Remove all racist, white supremacist and Confederate monuments & change names of buildings.

• End job discrimination in hiring, promotion, selection, especially in local government.

• Rectify racist gerrymandering of election districts

16. Affordable housing for all – Immediate rent forgiveness

When the Governor’s moratorium on evictions is lifted, many families will be expected to pay several months of back rent. The state should require rent cancellation. 

17. End Preemption Laws! Support Local Peoples’ Power & Police Review Boards

– Allow subpoena power for local police accountability and review boards (Support SB 682)

– Make police cameras available to public record requests (Support SB510)

– Local governments should not accept and return any military equipment from the Federal 1033 program