By Kurtis Alexander, the Fresno Bee
Posted Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011
Fresno County’s largest labor union plans to hold a demonstration tonight to call attention to pay cuts for county government workers.
Employees are being asked to surrender salary and benefits in a pending labor agreement scheduled to take effect next month. County managers and representatives of Service Workers Employee Union Local 521 are in contract negotiations.
The county says sacrifices by employees are needed to help shore up a budget hit hard by the poor economy. But union representatives say the county is leaning too hard on lower-paid workers.
“Three members of the Board of Supervisors are pushing a militant, anti-worker agenda,” reads a news release sent out today by SEIU, referring to Supervisors Phil Larson, Judy Case and Debbie Poochigian.
Tonight’s event is billed as a candlelight vigil and begins at 5:30 p.m. at the County Hall of Records in downtown Fresno.
County managers already have negotiated pay cuts for most of the county’s labor groups, but the seven groups represented by SEIU have yet to secure a new contract. The union represents most of the county’s roughly 6,000 employees.
County personnel officials declined to discuss the current contract talks, saying they did not want to negotiate through the media.