Yvonne Walker is one of California’s foremost leaders in fighting for the pension and health benefits earned by CalPERS members and retirees. She has stood her ground against the repeated attacks by those who would strip CalPERS members of their hard-earned benefits.
Walker has served California and this nation for more than 35 years, working as union president, retirement security advocate, experienced pension fiduciary, state worker, and Marine Corps veteran. Her unique background and accomplishments exemplify the value of service.
For 13 years, Walker was president of SEIU Local 1000—the first African American woman to hold that role. While leading an organization that represented over 100,000 state workers, she successfully secured significant salary increases for members and beat back attempts to cut health care and pension benefits.
As union president, she successfully negotiated with the governor to prefund retiree health care benefits to ensure coverage for members when they retire. She also negotiated directly with private health plan providers, crafting agreements to keep premium rates affordable while providing additional benefits, including money-back rebates.
Not only does Walker have a history of fighting for CalPERS members’ pensions, she also has been a national advocate and leader in ensuring retirement security for all. She chaired the SEIU International Retirement Security committee and was instrumental in creating the CalSavers program, which is now a model for other states and helps provide retirement security for private sector workers.