Join the campaign for the Opportunity to Work
Thank you for your support of the Opportunity to Work Initiative! Please complete the form at the right to make sure we have the right contact information to keep you informed and involved with this groundbreaking campaign.
Proposed by Silicon Valley Rising and community, religious and labor leaders, the Opportunity to Work Initiative will help hourly workers get access to enough hours so their paychecks cover the bills and put food on the table.
If passed on the November 2016 ballot, it will require employers in San Jose, California, to offer qualified part-time employees the opportunity to work additional hours before hiring new part-time or temporary employees.
The Opportunity to Work Initiative is the first measure of its kind in the country. Although San Francisco and SeaTac have adopted similar ordinances, no previous initiative has aimed to provide part-time employees across all industries access to more work hours.
While the Silicon Valley economy is booming, working people and their families are caught in an ever-increasing struggle to make ends meet. San Jose and other Silicon Valley cities have set national examples by raising their minimum wages. But a higher wage is not enough to cover skyrocketing living costs if you can only get a few hours of work.
By keeping workers part-time, big corporations in low-wage industries avoid providing critical benefits like health insurance and retirements plans. As more companies exploit this loophole, the part-time workforce has mushroomed. An estimated 64,000 workers in San Jose have part-time or variable hours – up in just the last decade from 26% to 43% of the workforce.
Women and people of color are disproportionately affected. Nearly 70% of part-time workers are people of color. 63% of part-time workers are women.
The Opportunity to Work ordinance will provide fair access to hours for working people stuck in part-time or hourly positions, allowing them to work more so they can earn enough to pay for the basic necessities.
Campaigns to provide opportunities to work have been won or are underway in cities and states across the country and major nation chain stores and restaurants. Locally, the Silicon Valley Living Wage Coalition won an opportunity to work policy for employees and contractors at the County of Santa Clara. Now San Jose has a chance to seize the moment and become a national leader in this fight.