No Outsourcing: Protect Mendocino County Jobs and Residents!

No Outsourcing: Protect Mendocino County Jobs and Residents!

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has proposed outsourcing food and laundry services at the Jail and Juvenile Hall, putting quality nutrition for inmates and good, union jobs in our community at risk.

It only takes a cursory search online to find a multitude of horror stories describing what privatization does to the cost and quality of food in jails and prisons. We must speak out against this dangerous plan that will surely increase costs, decrease quality, and abandon our members who have served this County through thick and thin for years.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has proposed outsourcing food and laundry services at the Jail and Juvenile Hall, putting quality nutrition for inmates and good, union jobs in our community at risk.

It only takes a cursory search online to find a multitude of horror stories describing what privatization does to the cost and quality of food in jails and prisons. We must speak out against this dangerous plan that will surely increase costs, decrease quality, and abandon our members who have served this County through thick and thin for years.

Stand with Mendo County food and laundry workers

Please sign our petition rejecting the proposal from the Sheriff’s Office to outsource food and laundry services at the Jail and Juvenile Hall.

Privatizing these services will cost our County good union jobs, put the health and well-being of inmates at risk, and likely lead to more expensive and lower quality services down the line.

Dear Mendocino County Board of Supervisors,

For years, a small team of SEIU 1021 members has worked hard to provide our County's inmate population with healthy and nutritious meals three times per day, seven days per week. Roughly 300 meals need to come out of their kitchen at breakfast, lunch and dinner. This team has often worked short-staffed but has always made sure the job gets done.

The Sheriff's Department is using the pandemic as cover to push for outsourcing this work. This is unacceptable. An outside contractor would face the same recruitment and retention challenges that the County experiences. Finding qualified staff who can pass the background checks and work effectively with and supervise inmate workers is hard.

Because of the unique nature of these positions, it may be worth reviewing the compensation currently being offered to make sure it aligns with the skills and requirements that the County is seeking. 

We also believe that outsourcing would increase the County’s cost. The contractor may come in with a low initial bid, but it will increase each year, once they have the County on the hook. We believe the solution is to increase staffing in the form of relief help that can step in when necessary. This would ease the burden created when employees are sick, injured, or need to take time off.

SEIU 1021 members have been there for the County through thick and thin, making sure the essential work of feeding our incarcerated population gets done. We ask that the County honor the commitment of these workers by standing with us against outsourcing.