The County of Santa Clara


Under advisement from May 20, 2014 (Item No. 15): Consider recommendations relating to stakeholder engagement for the development of a County Living Wage Ordinance. (Office of the County Executive)


Department:Office of the County ExecutiveSponsors:

Multiple Recommendations

Possible action:
a. Accept report from the Office of the County Executive.
b. Accept report from the Office of Human Relations and the Human Relations Commission regarding community input gathered at the public forum on the cost of living in Santa Clara County.
c. Accept report from the Office of Women's Policy regarding input gathered from County contractors at the three roundtable discussions, and the development and dissemination of an online survey relating to a proposed County Living Wage Ordinance.



There are no fiscal implications associated with the acceptance of this informational report.


Per the Board’s direction, Administration undertook extensive stakeholder engagement related to the development of a County Living Wage Ordinance.  Specifically, the Board directed Administration to host a public forum/town hall and to convene a series of roundtable discussions.

Public Forum/Town Hall

For the public forum/town hall, the County Executive’s Office of Human Relations, in conjunction with the Human Relations Commission, hosted a public forum on August 25, 2014 to address the concerns related to the cost of living in Santa Clara County.  The forum took place in the Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium at the County Government Center, and two sessions were held, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, to provide opportunities to those who may have varying work schedules to give testimony.  Approximately 300 individuals attended over the two sessions, and 76 testified at the forum.  Simultaneous translation was provided at the forum in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.

Testimony given at the public forum provided the basis for the report attached to this legislative file.  Specifically, this report captures the voices of individuals and families who not only fall below the standard for self-sufficiency, but also those who work full-time in skilled and professional capacities and yet find themselves struggling to make ends meet.  This latter group’s experiences have become the new norm in Santa Clara County for a rapidly declining middle-class population.

In addition to the public forum, the Office of Human Relations and the Human Relations Commission solicited testimony online, inviting the community at-large, community partners, academia, and labor organizations to gather testimony regarding the cost of living in Santa Clara County.  A total of 229 testimonies were provided.  Of these, 121 were provided in Spanish.  Testimony captured reflected the impact of the cost of living in Santa Clara County on quality of life; affordability of housing, food, and child care; the need to work more than one job to sustain oneself and/or one’s family; the lack of benefits to the employed; reliance on payday lenders; unemployment; high debt-to-income ratios; length of commutes; reliance on food banks, even for the employed; inability to save for emergencies, college, or retirement; and increased crime.

Roundtable Discussions

The Office of the County Executive’s Office of Women’s Policy engaged county contractors for input on the development of a County Living Wage Ordinance, and to discuss potential impacts such an ordinance could have on county contractors.

The Office of Women’s Policy hosted three roundtable discussions, developed and disseminated an online survey, and solicited and monitored input via email.  The results of these engagement strategies are contained in the report attached to this legislative file.

The first roundtable discussion, involving Measure A-funded contractors, was held on August 29, 2014 in the Supervisors’ Conference Room on the 10th Floor of the County Government Center’s East Wing.  The Office of Women’s Policy partnered with the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits to engage its considerable network of community-based service providers throughout Santa Clara County to participate in the second and third roundtable discussions, which were convened on September 25, 2014 at the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits.  The Office of Women’s Policy also reached out to its own network of organizations that are not members of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits to include their perspectives in the roundtable discussions.

Each roundtable discussion began with County Counsel’s overview of the Board’s May 20, 2014 referral regarding the development of a County Living Wage Ordinance.  Office of Women’s Policy staff led the facilitated discussions and captured the questions and comments provided by the attendees.

In addition, the Procurement Department provided the Office of Women’s Policy with a list of contact information for 144 non-professional services contractors, who were engaged via an online survey.  Two follow-up notifications were sent to these contractors to remind them of the opportunity to provide feedback.  Information regarding the contractors that responded and the feedback that those contractors provided is included in the attached report from the Office of Women’s Policy.

Furthermore, the County Executive’s Office met with representatives from Working Partnerships USA in late May and late September and with representatives of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits in late June.  In addition, scheduled conference calls were held with the Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits in early August and with a representative of the California Restaurant Association in early September.


Acceptance of this informational report will have no/neutral impact on children and youth.


Acceptance of this informational report will have no/neutral impact on seniors.


Acceptance of this informational report will have no/neutral sustainability implications.


The Board of Supervisors, at its meeting of May 20, 2014, directed Administration to report back to the Finance & Government Operations Committee and the Children, Seniors & Families Committee at their June, August, and September meetings related to the Administration’s progress on the development of a County Living Wage Ordinance, including a process of stakeholder engagement.  Specifically, the Board directed Administration to host a public forum/town hall and to convene a series of roundtable discussions.  This legislative file includes the resulting reports from these two efforts, as well as the Administration’s overview of the outreach process.


The Board of Supervisors will not receive the requested community input and analysis contained in the attached reports.


Meeting History

Oct 21, 2014 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Fourteen individuals addressed the Board regarding the recommendations.

Supervisor Chavez requested that definitions be included in the County Living Wage Ordinance and requested information on why the recommendations apply to some elements of the workforce and not others.

MOVER:Ken Yeager, Supervisor
SECONDER:Cindy Chavez, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager, S. Joseph Simitian


Oct 21, 2014 9:00 AMBoard of SupervisorsRegular Meeting


11:49 AMWe now move on to item number 18. Let me just get this here. That's the stakeholder engagement for the development of a county living wage ordinance. Supervisor yeager.
Yes, thank you, president wasserman. I know that when supervisor cortese and I had come forth with this referral, we were hoping that at this meeting we might have something to present to the board. At this point I think it is still a work in progress. We did hear it at fgoc and I think it was also heard at another committee. I know that a someone who is one of the two supervisors taking the lead on this, i'm still at the point that it is important to understand people's reaction to the proposal, to see what questions people have. I know we've gotten a number of letters from stakeholders and i'm interested at some point hearing from administration how they might want to incorporate some of those ideas into policy such as [speaker not understood] group to see how particularly the nonprofits would be affected by this and what kind of structure we want to create. But if it would be -- with the approval of the other supervisors, again, to sort of ask questions, to get input, and then to have this come back in two weeks to see if we're ready to make some motion on an ordinance that he we would approve.
11:51 AMThank you, supervisor yeager. supervisor cortese. You're good with that? Okay, I have lost my screen -- we'll go with this. I've got about a dozen speaker cards here. Some people marked just 18, some people marked just 19, some people marked just 20. Some marked 18 to 19, 18 to 20, 19 to 20. So, i'll give each of you two minutes. If you don't mind speaking just once, if you want to speak two minutes on 18, two minutes on 1, two minutes on 20 you're allowed to do that. You can get across your point on one. 19 I know we're going to handle 18, 19, and 20 as an individual vote. You don't have speaker card on the same subject at the same time?
11:52 AMNo.
So, with that --
Mr. President, before folks come up --
Supervisor simitian.
We did have a chance to have this come up at [speaker not understood]. Some were requests for clarification. Some were particular suggestions that I had. I'm not going to reiterate them today, which anyone is dying to hear them they're all right there online. That way we can spend the time hearing from community members. I didn't want anyone to think my relative disengagement today didn't think I wasn't fully engaged on the issue. Quite the opposite, we had the opportunity to take these up earlier in the committee, and I thought that was helpful getting as much information out sooner rather than later. With that understanding, thank you.
11:53 AMGot the screen back, and the microphone back. And, Dr. Smith, a staff report if you would, then we'll hear from the public, then we'll get down to voting.
Mr. President, members of the board, we'll be very quick with the staff report. I just thought it would be useful to give people an idea where we were from a staff perspective. This is a proposal that came to us on referral and from staff perspective we're very committed to creating a policy and ordinance that will reflect the board's requirement and desire to have a living wage within the county. This is really our first effort from staff to start a process that at least we think will take probably the better part of a year to finish. There are many components to the recommendation that have come from stakeholders regarding living wage. Some of them are relatively easy to initiate, some are still awaiting ideas about how we could enforce them. Our greatest priority from staff's perspective is to come to the board with proposal that we can actually implement and that can actually be effective and that we can actually enforce. As the board knows from previous discussions, we have significant deficits in the county in terms of monitoring centrally our contracts, and you will be getting a overall report related to that in the middle of november. Also next week or next meeting you will be getting a recommendation about wage theft and there have been a number of other initiatives related to contracts. So, we think those all really work together with the living wage. And as I said, this is our beginning effort. I'll turn it over to jon mills for some discussion of where we've been and where we ended up.
11:55 AMThank you. jon mills, deputy county executive on behalf of the county executive's office. Just to echo a few of the comments that the county executive just made, we received this referral from the board on May 20th and reports back were scheduled for the finance and government operations committee and the children seniors and families committee in june, august and september. At the august 29th children seniors and families committee meeting, the committee recommended and the board approved on September 23rd as part of the committee's report out that administration and county counsel prepare a draft, living wage ordinance and a draft board policy based on the parameter that were outlined in the original referral for consideration and discussion of today's meeting. There are three related item on today's agenda. A draft living wage ordinance and accompanying draft board policy, and an informational report on our stakeholder engagement effort that helped to inform the development of both the draft ordinance and the draft policy. And a the county executive mentioned and as we have discussed at the board's committee meetings, our efforts related to the living wage are wrapped up with the broader concerns related to our countywide contracting infrastructure. The draft ordinance and board policy that appear on today's agenda represent our best first attempt to strike a balance between capturing the intent for living wage policy a it develops while still offering the board a place to start, working within our current limited resources for contract monitoring compliance and enforcement. This policy can be modified as needed on a going forward basis as lessons are learned from the implementation experience. And I just want to take the opportunity while I have it to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of human relations, the human relations commission and the office of women's policy who partnered with us on engaging stakeholders and conducting research. The results are in the results included as part of item 18. And of course, want to acknowledge the tremendous help of the county counsel's office throughout this process. We await the pleasure of the board with regard to next steps on how to proceed and that concludes my report. And assistant county counsel rob coelho is here with me and we're available to answer any questions.
11:57 AMThank you, I appreciate that. rob, [speaker not understood]?
[inaudible]. I have nothing to add. Thank you.
All right, thank you. i'm going to call up speakers. And once you call you, please get in the queue and speak whoever gets to the microphone first. The last card I believe is fred hirsch. Sir, come on up. And then lisa cost ginsberg. Carol weiss. And carlene hudgins. Welcome, Mr. Hirsch.
11:58 AM> good morning still --
Yes, we're working on that.
> i'm sorry that i'm the first. To add to what others have said, but i'm vice president of plumber and fitters local 3 93 and [speaker not understood] last spring. Passed a resolution calling upon all levels of government -- city, county, state, federal -- to pass a $15 minimum wage. I don't know how that will affect considerations of the ordinance and adopt limitation that you have considered. But surely in this county, a $15 minimum wage will enable some people to be able to keep up with the cost of living standards. This is the highest area in the country and that resolution that we passed calling for a minimum wage has also been passed by the california labor federation, and I do believe that [speaker not understood] labor council. We need to have an adequate living standard and raising the minimum as you considered earlier in the discussion tends to raise the risk. We all need more in order to get by in this economy. Thank you.
12:00 PMThank you.
> good morning. my name is elissa [speaker not understood], i'm the director of the behavioral health contractors association. I'm going to highlight -- pull some highlights from our written comments we submitted and apology to supervisor simitian and yeager who heard some of this the other day. The hda member see the daily impact of the economical cost of living in silicon valley on our clients, our staff, and our families. The county board of supervisors has a long demonstrated commitment to support a strong safety net for our county's most vulnerable and we recognize that commitment extends to the implementation of living wage. The hca conditionally supports the concept of a living wage ordinance and applaud the delay of implementation for nonprofits to work out the many issues brought up in the stakeholder process. We urge you to appoint an advisory committee to document the impact to the policy on nonprofits and to provide you with an analysis quantifying among other things the cost of implementing the proposed ordinance to employ covered by the policy, other nonprofit worker paid with noncounty fund, but working in the same classification as those covered by the policy, the cost of adjusting salaries in an organization due to the relational nature of our salaries within the organization, the cost of [speaker not understood] living wage to cpi and the impacts of fiscal and nonfiscal requirements. [speaker not understood] the reason for excluding ihss workers and those covered by bargaining agreements is due to this not being the right mechanism. We'd also like any kind of research to look at the cost and implication of that as ihss workers are the most vulnerable and we'd like to see that happen under whatever mechanism is appropriate and we look forward to working as part of any committee or process in providing the data. Thank you.
12:02 PMThank you.
> good afternoon, I am carol weiss, human relations Commissioner District 5 and I am chair of the social equity committee which held hearings on august 25th, two sessions, on the price we pay for living in santa clara county. We had testimony from 297 county residents, heart wrenching testimony a to the impossible high cost of living here. It's critical to realize that it what the working poor who testified. Isn't this an embarrassing phrase, working poor? From one testimony we are the wealthiest county in the united states and we have a plantation economy. A third of our people are serving the economy, the economy does president serve them, end quote. From issues raised it is apparent that the entire community not just individual families are affected from the stressors of trying to live paycheck to paycheck, to try to decide whether to work a second, even a third job or devote that time to raising a healthy and safe child. What next? The human relations commission and the office of human rights did not move this report to be read and filed on the shelf. This is the report. Instead, it is a call for a regional approach by city, county and other local agencies. It is a [speaker not understood] the private sector as well and to hold accountable, it is a call for ongoing research, action, and valuation for the continuing involvement of and interest in county residents and public forums, surveys and the like. Our citizens and therefore we are in a state of crisis. So, thank you for your attention to this wide ranging issue which you started inquiries and thank you for doing something about it.
12:04 PMThank you. as our next speaker approaches, if I could ask stacey handler ross. [speaker not understood]. Bruce silver todd. And ken maxwell come forward. Good morning.
> good afternoon.
Good afternoon, yes.
> supervisors, i'm executive director of [speaker not understood] services and we received just over $50,000 from the county. And, so, I was very concerned about this. I'm happy that these issues are going to be looked at more closely. I appreciate the office of women policy hosting the meeting. There are about 100 nonprofits [speaker not understood]. There were so many questions that were unanswered and we were asked to come up with a number. There is no way we could come up with a number of [speaker not understood] when there are so many unknown questions about the health benefits, sick leave, the jury duty. How do you pay an hourly employee one week pay when they don't work regular howardx? And, so, i'm thankful that it is [speaker not understood] and there will be such a consideration for how this will impact nonprofits. Many of my workers, I was really shocked and confused and it made me feel that was a double standard when I heard the ihss workers were exempt when their job description of what he they do working with vulnerable speakvier is almost the same as what my staff did you. As a matter of fact, many of them are caring for their families. They're getting paid. That's government income. [speaker not understood] come to my center is giving them the opportunity to get a [speaker not understood] because otherwise they would be caring for them 24 hours a day. [speaker not understood] there are unintended consequences if you don't look at the big picture and we're the ones that give you that picture because if this what imposed we would have to cut back services. We would have to target or increase fees and we really can't pass that on to our seniors. It would hurt the very people that you're trying to help. If somebody what working for me is not under private contract and [speaker not understood], then my paying $19 an hour for six-hour days one day a week is not going to change their ability to buy a home or sustain their living. So, we have to look at the whole picture. Thank you for your time and thank you for your consideration.
12:07 PMThank you. come on up, sparky.
> sparky heartland, ceo, bill wilson center. I have spoken on this on a number of occasions. The theme I want to focus on is not the $400,000 tip that this will cost the wilson center. [speaker not understood] to tell the story how I got in the field and how we really need to look at how we're developing our workforce. I was going to school to be a teacher, but when I was 18 I got a job working in residential care for youth. My first job and those are often still the first jobs young people have as a ymca counselor. If we raise wages to 18 and $19 an hour, you will eliminate those entry level positions. And once you set a classification that exempts or allow for those entry level positions because if i'm paying 18, $19 an hour, that's at least a b. A. Level position that I can hire and I actually fought legislation this last year that would have made the age 21 a the minimum age for working in residential care because I reminded people it's people like me that got in the field at that age that you don't want to eliminate. So, please, as you look at the consequences of these kind of ordinance, you need to look at how we get people in the field and make sure that we allow for this entry level $14 an hour for first-time jobs to be able to get into this field so we can hook them into this business. Thank you.
12:08 PMSparky, I have a quick question for you if I May just so I understand. You mentioned $14 entry level and I think we're looking at $19 level here. If that became the new entry then there would be a ripple effect?
> well, yes, because first of all, I pay b. A. Level that currently. And even some entry level --
12:09 PMSorry, pay what level?
> bachelor.
B.a. level, gotcha.
> they are already at that level. One is i'd either have to raise them or what i'd do is hire all b. A. Level at that entry position because that's who is going to be attracted. The master level, even some are at that level.
Thank you.
> so, the whied is to try to keep people that are in college be able to work in these positionses. And my peer positions I have.
Thank you. come on forward. And next i'd like to call up I believe rosia molina, if I read that correctly. [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood]. Patricia [speaker not understood] how did I do on that? Wonderful. Thank you, please go right ahead.
> thank you. my name is ken maxwell, i'm the director of compensation benefits at emq families first. I'd ask that you delay this implementation for nonprove its so we can have additional time to look at the cost impact. Sparky suggested [speaker not understood]. That would be multiplied multiple times to the other nonprofits in the county that are serving the most vulnerable children that need the work our social worker are doing. So, i'd ask that you delay this to give us more time to look at the cost impact and how we can work with it. Thank you.
12:10 PMThank you.
> my name is ruth silver toll. i'm here on behalf of the [speaker not understood] coalition and the alexander community law center. I urge -- I heard at the beginning the county elktive state that wage theft is part of living wage. I urge you to separate wage theft from living wage. They're completely different. We are asking for no new laws. We're just asking for collecting judgment reported by the labor commission. We're not just looking at county contractors. We are also looking at anybody that is -- gets a permit from the county and we're looking for county contracts to withhold payment. We're looking for -- we're looking for suspension of permits until those judgments are paid. We are asking for two simple thing, which is just an ongoing displeasure of unpaid judgments and then withholding payments of contracts or suspension until the judgments are paid. There's different county counsel [speaker not understood]. We have no opposition as far as we know. I talked to the chamber. They said they're not in favor of dead beats. So, what we need, if a living wage -- when a living wage is passed, it's also going to have to be enforced. So, currently we have laws on the books, minimum wage laws, and they are not being paid. There's a thousand and 73 judgments in the last three years that were recorded by the labor commission in the superior court. Those were not paid. I think living wage is important, but I also would like to see wage theft separate. County counsel is almost finished with the contract portion. They're very far along. The next portion will be quick, but I think it become entangled in all of these issue with [speaker not understood] and other issues, it would be lost. And it's too important to low-paid immigrant worker.
12:13 PMThank you, ms. silver taube.
> hello, everyone. my name is lucille [speaker not understood]. I'm a public policy coordinator for the silicon valley [speaker not understood] nonprofit. And having the conversation with you all, we are aware that you probably need some number so we began a survey of our members in order to try to capture based on the information that we have thus far the impact that a living wage would have on our agency. So, so far we believe there are about 100 nonprofit agencies who have a cumulative contract, cumulative contract for over $100,000. And these contracts include general fund, state and federal pass through grants and such, and they accumulate to a value of $92 million. These fund provide services in senior nutrition, mental health, residential program, drug addiction and foster care, school and services, juvenile justice programs, community health services and much more. Thank you so much.
12:14 PMThank you.
> thank you. I am [speaker not understood] from working partnerships and the coalition of nearly two dozen organizationses endorsing campaign for comprehensive living wage ordinance. Including the human relations commission of the county as well as the commission on the status of women. I want to thank the board of supervisors for this time to discuss the ordinance as well as the staff for their work and the special [speaker not understood] office of human relations. When I started working here nearly ten years ago, one of the first things I did was I what on the street with some workers trying to get better jobs and I remember a woman shouting at us out of her car window, you know, they should just go get another job if you don't like your current job. And I think that is the dream of many people who come to this country. Many people who work their way through sometimes 7 years of college is to try it get a better job. And the county, including 17,000 jobs to its own employees and a massive footprint through its contracting, has the opportunity to help people to fulfill that dream. Right now at least about one in three jobs in this county have a living wage which make it hard to get a better job. Maybe you try to get a second job. [speaker not understood] the national survey had unpredictable sake usev, so you couldn't schedule a second job. You couldn't schedule to go to school to try to get a better job. You couldn't schedule to get child care so you could keep your job. Maybe you can get a raise. 65% increase in involuntary part-time work in jobs in this county over the last five years alone. So, it's critical that we make economic policy not piecemeal, but through comprehensive approach that looks at all of these massive trends driving down job walt in our county and in our counseltry. We believe that we are close on this policy. We certainly support enough time to work out the specifics, but with 140 jurisdictions we believe that we are very close. We also support a process to make sure that the policy includes nonprofits in an appropriate way. Thank you.
12:16 PMThank you very much. as our next speaker approach he, if I could ask camille yanis [speaker not understood] santanilla, [speaker not understood], patricia gardner and [speaker not understood]. And that conclude the cards that I have.
> hi, i'm patricia [speaker not understood] from altamont counseling center [speaker not understood]. The impact of the proposed living wage ordinance would be minimal. It would be primarily focused on our on-call staff which enables arcc to provide 24/7 mobile crisis response especially to our youth community. However, what i'm concerned about is the ripple effect of what is being proposed, specifically that a cola also be provided as determined by local economic indicators. Any cola would need to be expanded to include all arc staff, not just the few staff that we have as on-call staff. Staff -- arcc does not have the resource he to provide a cola for all staff unless funding comes from other resources. This is just one ripple effect and there are many more. I encourage the formation of an inclusive advisory committee that can study the full impact to nonprofits both direct and indirect. We really do support a living wage. We need to work together in a very intentional way to make that happen so that services can continue to be provided, thank you.
12:17 PMThank you.
> good afternoon, board of supervisors. My name is camille spathctionv and i'm the executive director of [speaker not understood]. As a leader, a a community based organization commit today up lifting the people in our neighborhood out of poverty, I am here in support of the county living wage. What I do ask you for unlike a lot of my colleagues is the time to think, to engage and to have a dialogue, to make this ordinance a feasible a possible for our sector. We need to work with [speaker not understood] figure out how we can manage the restructuring of our pay scale across all of our salary structures, how to ensure parity in our staff who are working in our organizations with county funded projects and how to form a movement between nonprofit sector, community leaders and government to approach this dialogue with private foundation and other funders. We believe they are too part of the solution. So, i'm asking you for the time to work together to partner with us to figure this out, and to address these challenges so that we can make a county living wage possible. Thank you.
12:18 PMThank you.
> good afternoon, board of supervisors. My name is dolores alvarado. I'm with the community help partnership representing the community clinic. I'm here to show support for the development of such an ordinance that addresses living wage. We know -- as you know, we know firsthand what it's like to live and work with folks who are in poverty. 65% of our patients are at 100% federal poverty level, less than 100%. At the top that's about $11,000, 11,600 per individual. So, we know the relationship between social determinants of health meaning poverty and how that impacts health. So, frankly, how can we not support this. But along with my colleagues and peers sitting behind me, we are interested in working with working partnerships with the county, silicon valley council of nonprofits, et cetera, to make sure that it's a policy that makes sense for everyone, for everyone that doesn't put anyone at risk. So, for that reason we did support it, but we want to ensure that there's the right body working with you so that all the issue that have been addressed previously can be addressed in great detail. Thank you.
12:20 PMThank you.
> thank you, patricia gardner silicon valley council of nonprofits. I have presented in front of you many times on this issue. We in concept support the living wage for all employees. Our biggest issue is the economic impact to our agencies. Over the last six months we've engaged in dialogue with the county, supervisors, [speaker not understood], working partnerships as well as the office of women's policy to get out the issues of nonprofits around this. We still have a little ways to go in learning more about what the impact to nonprofits would be and then how we would pay for that. In my conversations with local foundations, we do not believe this is an issue at this time that they would be willing to move forward on. This is a business model, but not a funding stream for them. They get lots of requests for thing that need to be added. This would probably not increase foundation grants to nonprofits, so, we need to keep that in our mind. So, what we're asking for today is that in the draft policy you talk about implementation will not occur until July 1, 2015, but there is no formal policy on how and when and if we would have a separate policy with maybe some phase in and funding mechanism for this initiative and we would like to make sure that happens before the living wage policy is adopted by the county and its impact to nonprofits. [speaker not understood] which all of you have received some milestones we believe need to be accomplished between now and July 1st. We look forward to the board's support of our work together as we develop a living wage policy that work with nonprofits if we can afford that is economically feasible for our county. Thanks.
12:22 PMThank you.
> good afternoon, erin o'brien, [speaker not understood]. I think the first thing I want to say is I am personally very committed to the living wage ordinance. One of my daughters a month ago moved out of california and she moved out because of the cost of housing. So, and she wouldn't be impacted by the living wage ordinance you are proposing here, but I am extremely ecstatic and how it impacts our clients, staff and family. So, i'll use that as a frame to say I am strongly urging you to pull together the advisory committee to look at both the direct impact and the secondary and unavoidable impact this will have. And as I have been considering this in the last couple of weeks, I real have I done it through a nonprofit lens. As I was sitting here earlier and you were looking at board and care homes, we are always having a shortage of board and care homes. For us it's a challenge in terms of placeving our clients. And I started thinking, what is going to be the impact on the board and care homes if we do this? Because it will be significant. And I just think it's important that prior to making a policy decision on this that we really are very clear of what the intended impact is going to be and what the unintended consequences are going to be. And I think that an advisory committee that is inclusive and extremely knowledgeable can make very clear the assumptions behind what they're building in terms of what the cost is going to be, both the primary cost and the secondary cost so that they can present it to you so that you are truly fully informed and we can craft the absolute best living wage ordinance that will not des mate the nonprofits or our community, but will be the beginning of lifting us up so we can have a countywide impact on the working poor. Thank you. 0001-01-01t00:00:00. 0000000
12:24 PMThank you. that concludes the speaker cards I have. I'll put up a voting screen and we are on, fellow board members, item 18. I didn't see who came on first. Supervisor yeager.
Yeah, just a couple of questions, and appreciate all the speakers, particularly those who work at nonprofits [speaker not understood]. Either you, [speaker not understood], or Dr. Smith, at this early stage, do you have any sort of outline or vision of how you see engaging the nonprofits over the next six months or so a we move towards July 1, which is when the policy then would kick in for them about how we're going to sort of engage them in some sort of final policy that will affect them?
12:25 PMWell, I think -- and thank you for that question, supervisor yeager. I think over the last week or so we've gotten a very good idea of the concerns of the nonprofits. More specifically, related to looking at both the direct and the indirect impacts that they, again, shared with us at today's meeting. So, I think sort of the next step is to take that list of concerns as our work plan and engage with them and sort of figure out who we bring to the table and how we start to tackle those issues.
Certainly it what in the memo that the policy would not be effective for community-based nonprofits until July 1. That is certainly my sense of the position of staff, of the board. So, there shouldn't be any doubt about that whatsoever, however we work on the rest of the policy. That has already been decided that they won't be included until July 1. The other question, and it's because we had both of them on the agenda, of looking at a policy as well as an ordinance, maybe sort of help explain what the separation is and what would we put in a policy that we wouldn't put in an ordinance and vice versa?
12:26 PMWell, I think our thought relative to the bifurcation between an ordinance and a policy was that the ordinance was the more appropriate vehicle to define the terms and sort of state the intent. And given where we are in the process, at least a we he see it, is sort of at the starting point. We thought having more of the details in the policy made it more nimble in a way in term of modifying it a we went forward and being informed by our experience as we begin to implement.
12:27 PMI know that there is some concern that perhaps if it's in a policy, not in an ordinance, it isn't quite as concrete or maybe more subject to the -- to changing winds. Is that something that we would need to consider as we decide what's going to be in the policy and what's going to be in the ordinance?
I think we tried to include in the ordinance at least what we saw a the more fundamental elements of it. But, I mean, I can say at least from the administration perspective we take policies just as seriously as we take ordinances. So, I think it was more a matter of looking prospectively at how we would be best equipped to deal with changing circumstances as they came up and as we learned from them as we implemented.
12:28 PMThank you.
Thank you. supervisor cortese.
I just have a question going back to, and I think this is for our legal counsel, going back to the issue of wage theft tie-in. I remember when we were taking up the wage theft ordinance or the idea of the referral that there what some concern that we May need to attach it to an ordinance like a living wage ordinance on the basis -- well, whatever the legal bases were. But I know that's how san francisco approached their. At least that's my recollection because they already had the ordinance in place. Is that still our feeling and been very sympathetic to the idea that aside from, you know, any legal requirement we need to consolidate the two, the way it would be nice to see wage theft go forward as immediately as possible, given what I think our speakers spoke so eloquently to, the narrow interest that we're trying to accomplish there?
12:29 PMLet me he jump? let me jump in on that one. I did not mean to imply the two have to be connected in ordinance. What I was trying to suggest is that if we're going to create an enforcement mechanism, we need staff to do that, and that kind of staff would be doing both. So, we need to make sure that we have a plan where we can effectively enforce both. But you are going to -- the board is going to get county counsel and administration's rendition of a wage theft ordinance on the next meeting which would be as a freestanding separate ordinance. Not that the ordinanceses need to be connected. It's just the enforcement structure.
Okay, thank you for clarifying that. I'll look forward to taking up that discussion again on the fourth.
12:30 PMThank you. supervisor chavez.
Thank you. a couple of things -- first, I just wanted to say thank you to staff and to the office of human relationses and the office of women's policy. I appreciate all the outreach did you and it worked. Clearly we have a lot of people here, which is great. I want to make a few recommendations and then ask for feedback on them. And one is that in the ordinance, I want to make sure I understood the purpose is the ordinance is to make sure we can put definitions and intent in the ordinance. And, so, because of that, based on what you just said, and I think based on our conversation i've had with you, Dr. Smith, what i'd like to see is the memorandum that what put forward by dave and by ken where it outlines what the components are of the ordinance, there is actually a definition for what we mean by each of the different titles. For example, their work group is people May think many things about fair workweek. The more descriptive it is in the ordinance, the less confusion there will be relative to implementation as we move forward. So, that's a request I would make. I think it's an allowance in the ordinance, just a definition. I think that the policies, and I appreciate the point you raise, like at what level and what finally gets included will all be part of the discussion. I'm sure you're going to be having over the next couple of weeks. Concerns about that?
12:31 PMI don't have any concerns about that.
To respond from a legal perspective, that's fine, and that makes excellent sense to define the term at the outset of the ordinance. The challenge we had from a legal perspective is defining those terms will require some direction from the board after discussion. And from our perspective, we weren't able to come up with enough concrete as to what those definitions meant. We will continue to work with the county executive's office to try to propose something just as was done so far to address that issue so the board will have something to start with. But the definition was not described other than it would seem significant to the board with respect to knowing what a schedule should be. For example, as being a component of that.
12:32 PMSo, the initial memo that was put forward by the two supervisors was not descriptive [speaker not understood], but wasn't descriptive enough for me to be able to move forward. Is that what you were saying?
There was some detail in it in terms of fleshing out a precise definition, how broad it should be. Because as you've indicated, it with mean a lot of things and a lot of categories. So, that was the difficulty in drafting the definition.
12:33 PMSo, one recommendation I would make is, again, as you proceed, when that comes back to us, I hope [speaker not understood]. We were also confused about it. That each of those at least have the intent. So, fair workweek I think obviously, the point of that is people know he in advance that their schedule would be. So, in terms of the specifics about that, I imagine some of that would be divided up between the definition and -- i'm sorry, the ordinance and the policy. That would be really helpful. I think in term of just people understanding what we're talking about. The second thing is [speaker not understood] I did have a chance to listen to the discussion -- I had a chance to hear your conversations and your questions and frankly your input as well. I think one point I would like to make and make a recommendation is the issue about what is and isn't covered is an important one. Originally I heard and saw the recommendation by my two colleagues. I looked at certain, a, is the exempted because employees have a different standing within collective bargaining environmental. You have the ability to bargain collectively. And, so, there is some distinction I think that is going to be important in terms of why we are recommending coverage for some elements of the workforce and not others. And I think that's true for other areas that you outlined or at least from the discussion I heard it would have been helped to under the reason behind that. And I think that would be very helpful. And then lastly I wanted to say, I appreciate very much the challenge of being a nonprofit, having had my own nonprofit and, you know, [speaker not understood] foundations for cash, [speaker not understood] in the city of san jose, everybody else. I understand the challenges there. I do think -- and I also under the predicament, you represent goal to save some of the [speaker not understood] in the community and you don't want to be an employer of the poor in the community as well. That being said, I thought there were some very interesting points raised both about timing and implementation and then the other is about categories. And this is an issue that came up with minimum wage. So, there is a slippery slope relative to categories as well. So, everybody gets put into -- you're a helper category. So, I think as we sit down and sort of delete these, I think unintended consequences he go both ways, relative to what we want to protect. Finally the issue of compaction is an important one and I think that is an issue that was rayed as well. Here is the interesting thing. I'll just use minimum wage as a standard. A number of you were involved in the minimum wage campaign and I really appreciated the boldness. A lot of the nonprofits weren't impacted by it, but one of the things we knew would happen is that when the wage increase happened, that very first March when folks got a wage from $2, probably the average was 50 cents, the compaction was a natural outcome of that [speaker not understood]. It what not necessarily an unintended consequence. And the reason for that is that we were looking at the entire structures of society and how we pay. The points relative to compaction are important to understand. Especially for the nonprofits to create a structure that can't be funded for a long time, and at the same time in a certain amount of for-profit world, that is exactly the intent of it. You have people making a decent wage, especially those who are moving up career ladders, an important part of how we move people out of poverty. So, all that being said, I am interested and very appreciative of the nonprofits being forthcoming. You have a lot to think about. I know you did that with your staff. So, those are all my comments today. Thank you.
12:37 PMThank you. supervisor simitian.
First thing is just a question for [speaker not understood]. I guess county counsel staff as well. By reference I have a dozen different observations. How should I be following up with you on the conversation we had? Do you have that list? Do you feel like you've got a clear understanding not only what I ask, but what supervisor yeager asked or commented on at the financing and operations committee?
Yes, we had that list. rob and I were able to have that conversation about it yesterday and to sort of flesh out some of the issues that you raised last thursday. So, however you prefer to continue that discussion, we're happy to oblige.
12:38 PMAll right. what I didn't want to have happen was when the time comes whether it's two weeks from now or some other time to suddenly say what happens to the conversation, i'll have my staff be in touch with your officeses to see if we have more information in some of the places where it was just a question and what the latest anything is, at least at the staff level on some of the "issues" that I raised at the time. Second thing, Mr. President, is I want to call out again as I did at the financing and operationses committee meeting, [speaker not understood]. There was one sentence in a report from Mr. Mills dated October 21st that I thought summed up the whole thing. It was talking about the outreach efforts and the testimony that had been provided. Testimony captured reflected the impact of the cost of living in santa clara county on quality of life, affordability in housing, food and child care. The need to work more than one job to sustain one self-and/or one's family. The lack of benefits to the employed , reliance on pay day lenders, unemployment, high debt to income ratios, length of commutes, reliance on food banks even for the employed, inability to save for emergencies, college or retirement, and increased crime. The single sentence, if you were sort of -- somebody were to ask me, why are you all having this conversation at the county, that is the sentence I would pull out of all of the documents that we've got. As I said at the financing and operations committee meeting, not because there what any one thing in that list that frankly surprised me, but somehow just that litany kind of summarized what this effort is about. The last thing I want to go to is --
12:40 PMSupervisor, if I May say, that would either have to be an awfully long elevator ride or a few office hour.
Office hours it is. the last thing is really just an issue I do think we're going to have address, and supervisor yeager mentioned the timeline with respect to some of the concerns from nonprofits. I think, as we have all been listening and hearing, I think in the most perfect world, our friends in the nonprofit community would like the county to say, we under that this is going to increase the cost of your services and, therefore, we are prepared to pick up the costs associated with that increase. And, by the way, we under that you'll have other class members who are not performing county services but who will expect commensurate pay and therefore we expect you to understand that that is a cost associated with this and we hope and expect that you'll pick up that cost as well. And since that hasn't yet been resolved, could you please have a working group that gets that resolved and that commitment made pdq, pretty darn quick? So, that raises for me the question of whether or not all of that can happen on a timeline between now and our budget process because if the issue to all that is sure, we have the resources and are plea paired to do that's correct I think that ameliorates many of the concerns we heard today and previously. If, on the other hand, we don't think we have those resources, not only for the direct cost, but the indirect costs associated with it, and that's going to be a longer conversation, I expect many of the folks we heard from today in the nonprofit world would say, hey, we can't just be starting July 1st because we made decisions already about what type of programs and services we've got. If we need to go raise fund from other funders because the county isn't prepared to step up in that way, then that's not something we can do after we started the year. So, I just -- I want -- I guess I want us all to be, and staff to be thinking about whether or not a different implementation date makes -- might make some sense rather than July 1st, 2015, because in fact decisions are going to be made about what people can and can't do of necessity prior to that date and yet i'm not sure that there is anyway other than through the budget process for us to figure out what it is we're prepared to fund and not. And if we can do -- fund that work ahead of time or after budget cycle which i'm prepared to see us do, I still think we have a timing question in terms of working with our nonprofits. So, i'd just kind of like to keep the date in the mix of conversation and ask my colleagues to give that thought a we move forward. Thank you.
12:43 PMSupervisor yeager. as we move forward
I saw Dr. Smith's light on. tie today that somewhat is what the cost is going to be to the county for implementation and whether that's a mid year or budget item. I know we've looked at the additional staff that the city of san jose hired to implement their living wage. They have an office that does other contracts, minimum wage and whatnot, so it isn't exactly the same situation. I know, Dr. Smith, you're concerned about the overall cost for us and additional staff. How can you do a better analysis of what those demands are going to be and potentially how many additional staff doing what kind of work and at what cost? Is that going to come back at the same time that we look at the whole ordinance or something in the near future or what's sort of the timeline on those issues?
12:44 PMGreat questions and things that keep me up at night. As you remember when you first presented us with the referral, part of the referral was to come back with a financial analysis. And we came back and told the board that that financial analysis was going to take some significant period of time because we have over 2000 different contracts in the county, and a thousand plus of them are the type of contracts that are not central eyed. So, we would actually need staff to go out into the departments, into the community to figure out what effect this kind of ordinance would have, not only the direct effect of the salary implicationses, but also the effect of monitoring and the other implications related to fair workweek and other things that are concerns. Centralized I cannot commit to the board that that can be done by budget. As a matter of fact, I would be extremely surprised if we got half of that done by budget. It's something that requires a lot of staff time. We currently have only about 2-1/2 ftes to centrally monitor budgets -- I mean contracts. And we're talking about details that are individual to particular groups and particular agencies. So, that's why we came back knowing that the board is very interested in moving rapidly on doing something effective. We came back with this proposal before you which really only affects new rfps and we feel that that would be something we could do that wouldn't necessarily require a whole lot of staff to begin with. The discussion that's been had with the cbos is a concerning one for me because how we parse out which employees work for the county and which ones don't work for the county and how we deal with that in the collective bargaining arena is, you know, frankly impossible for me to figure out how you can do that. That's why we suggested that we exempt agencies and employees which are -- who are covered by collective bargaining agreement. So, I think, as I said earlier, this is really a year-plus long process. We're trying to suggest to the board early quick win we think we can do, and save the harder, more detailed ones until we actually have staff to be able to make a recommendation. Emq, you'll remember, just as an example, not to criticize emq in any shape or form. You'll remember when we had the discussion about funding related to social services wraparound services, it took us many month, I think somewhere in the region of about six months to come to agreement between the management auditor, administrative staff, and e he mq as to what the funding implications were for those particular services. And we're talking about huge amounts of money. So, this is not going to be an easy thing to do with 2000 contracts. But we can have some early wins.
12:48 PMSupervisor yeager, if you'll turn your light back on and just refresh the chair. You're the motion maker. Supervisor chavez is the seconder, exactly what your motion is.
The motion actually is just to accept the report.
So, items a, b and c of item 18?
Okay. so, we have a motion and a second. Any further discussion?
Yeah, I guess we'll do 19 and 20 -- well, 19 is a little different and 20. This is 18. This is relating to the stakeholders engagement for the development of community wage.
12:49 PMI was going to handle 18, which I think there is consensus on. We can handle 19 and 20 together?
You can handle 19 and 20 together.
Okay, we'll handle 18 separately.
20 seems to be a little different a it's worded. 19 is you could be, a, just to accept the report.
On 18, if we can focus for a minute. 18, your motion is to accept a, b and c?
That's correct.
Thank you. and we have a second, and I believe -- madam clerk, yeager and chavez first and second, motion maker respectively.