Saturday, March 8, 2008

Local 1000 Protests Bee's Publication of State Workers' Salaries

SEIU Local 1000, the CSEA affiliate which represents civil service employees, is organizing a protest against the Sacramento Bee's decision to publish the salaries of state workers. Earlier this week the Bee published a database of salaries for state employees. Searching the database with only a last name returns first and last names with middle name or initial, the agency or campus where the employee works, and salary. Spot checks have turned up errors and odd gaps in the data.

The Bee also published a "Response to questions about state employee pay database" stating, oddly, that they "did not set out to embarrass anyone or to invade anyone's privacy" and pooh-poohing concerns about safety and privacy.

Local 1000's announcement:

This week and next Local 1000 is taking actions against the Sacramento Bee for its appalling decision to publish a searchable database of state employee's names, salaries, job classification and worksite. We ask all state employees to join in our protest.

First, we asked members to air their opinion directly to the Bee's editors-in only five hours, more than 500 of you copied us with your complaints about the Bee's action.

Second, Local 1000 has protested directly to the Bee and has asked that they remove state employees' names from their database; our protest-and many of your letters-will be published in the Bee's Opinion section on Sunday, March 9.

Third, we are gathering state employee signatures demanding that the Bee delete employee names from their database.

Fourth, we are organizing a demonstration at the Bee's offices between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00, on March 12; following our protest, we will deliver our petition to Bee editors. Please join us at the corner of 24st & Q Streets (a light rail station is at 23rd & R and there is ample street parking next to the Bee offices).

Fifth, we are asking state employees to cancel their subscriptions to the Bee until they remove state employees' names from their database.

Finally, we are exploring both litigation and legislation to protect worker privacy.

Please go to the url below to sign the petition, to participate in any of our actions to protest the Bee's decision or to urge the Legislature to protect public employees' privacy.
Protecting Privacy of Public Employees (Local 1000)

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