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Published in ABC 30 on Oct. 4, 2011
Dozens of Fresno County workers say they’re fighting for their paychecks in the face of ongoing salary negotiations.
They say proposed pay cuts will not only devastate their families but also the local economy.
“Fair is fair – I don’t mind taking a pay cut along with all of my co-workers,” office assistant Christina Chaparro said. “But what I feel that the Board of Supervisors is coming to us with, I don’t see anything fair about it. I’m just saying they should do the right thing for all of us.”
Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) held a news conference Monday.
They say a 15-percent pay cut would force many families to go on public assistance.
Union members also criticized the county for refusing to trim tax breaks for farmers.
They say it would have raised $3 million for the county.
“That $3 million, if they’ll take the chance agriculture is taking, we can talk,” County Supervisor Phil Larson said. “Agriculture’s got half of their crop out with rain threatening tonight, so there’s that three million.”
The SEIU says the county is asking for a total of $50 million in pay cuts.
Larson says that’s not true. He says negotiations with the union’s bargaining units are ongoing, and at this point everything is on the table.