San Jose Mercury News
Letter to the Editor, July 10, 2011
by Rachelle “RJ” Davis
In this economy, it would be insane for workers to go on strike. And yet, Santa Clara County workers are seeking strike sanction from our labor allies on Monday in case we do.
Is this over a contract? Yes, and much more. It’s about equity for workers and about quality public services.
The average county employee represented by SEIU 521 earns about $60,000 a year, not including benefits. Managers make twice that. And yet the county is seeking steeper cuts from its lowest-paid workers. Let’s be clear: We are not asking for raises. We’re ready to shoulder our share of sacrifices.
Public services is what we do, and we do it well. We answer 911 calls, dispense medication and check on the welfare of abused children. In return, we’re asking for a deal that won’t kill us.
Equitable cuts are not equitable when the burden is not equally shared.
Rachelle “RJ” Davis works as a janitor at Valley Medical Center. He is also chairman of the Contract Action Team for Santa Clara County Chapter, SEIU Local 521.