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CSEA, WOMEN'S ACTION COALITION CO-SPONSOR FAMILY CARE BILL

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The California State Employees Association (CSEA) and the Women's Action Coalition (WAC) said today that they are co-sponsoring a bill that would stop the state from forcing state employees to choose between their jobs and their families.
 The bill, AB 1293, is being carried by Assembly Member Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo). It would require state agencies to make "reasonable accommodations" for family-care needs just as it does now for its disabled and religious minority employees. Those accommodations could not cause an undue hardship on the employer's operation.
 "What families need most is flexibility. Family-positive employment policies offer solutions to many of the challenges currently faced by California," said WAC spokesperson Judith Haney.
 "We have to recognize the fact that more women are in the workforce, many of them single heads of households. Forty-six percent of state employees are women. They're trying to strike a balance between family and job needs," said CSEA Civil Service Division Director Perry Kenny.
 The bill defines the accommodation as grants of flextime, workshift adjustments, bereavement leave and family sick leave to take care of a "child, grandchild, spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, or any member of the immediate household for whom a state employee has familial caretaking responsibilities."
 While some state agencies offer flextime in theory, it does not always work in practice. "We want to see less of the strict time-clock mentality and more dialogue between employee and employer over what will serve both well," Kenny said.
 One example of the lack of accommodation by a department is the case of 27-year-old Cynthia Perez, who is a motor vehicles technician at the Department of Motor Vehicles headquarters in Sacramento. Perez is a single mother of three whose one-and-a-half-year-old son has severe chronic asthma, and must receive treatments every day.
 "When he gets acute attacks I want to administer the treatments myself," Perez said. "But the situation sometimes makes me late to work, even excessively absent. However, asthma is deadly."
 Because of the state's bookkeeping methods, Perez' check is often delayed by up to a month, something she can ill afford.
 In a recent survey published by Nation's Business, the following alternatives were offered by 645 companies for family care: flexible time, 50 percent; part-time work, 47 percent; job sharing, 22 percent.
 The research for the survey consisted of literature review, and interviews with 50 human resources professionals and 150 employees. Most resource administrators said reasonable alternatives positively affected retention and improved productivity.
 "Meeting the family care needs of a changing workforce is synonymous with creating productive work environments and protecting California's investment in its employees, its citizens and its future," Haney said.
 The California State Employees Association represents 130,000 active and retired state workers. WAC is an open alliance of women committed to direct action on issues affecting the rights of all women.
 -0- 3/5/93
 /CONTACT: Pat McConahay of CSEA, 916-326-4379; or Jana Olson of WAC, 415-695-0110/


CO: California State Employees Association; Women's Action Coalition ST: California IN: SU:

TM -- SF002 -- 3477 03/05/93 13:22 EST
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Date:Mar 5, 1993
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