KSEE 24: SEIU strike continues

Posted by KSEE News Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012
Updated Jan 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM PST

Watch video.

It’s day two of the strike for county employees. 1,500 people are picketing outside the Hall of Records downtown Fresno.

Roberto Hinojosa is on strike from his position as a job specialist. He says, “This is America. We have the right to protest and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Lorraine Ramirez works for Child Protective Services. She says she wants answers from the County and money she says she’s earned. Ramirez says, “We’re not asking for nothing more than what we’ve already been promised to be paid.”

Nurses, correctional officers, and social workers have banned together. They say Fresno County negotiated their union contract in bad faith and imposed a 9% pay cut unfairly.

Inside the Hall of Records, the Board of Supervisors meeting was packed. SEIU leaders stepped up to the microphone and took aim at the supervisors.

One person said, “Remember this day. This is you political life and death by decisions the board makes that affect people of Fresno county.”

On the other side of the line, Supervisor Debbie Poochigian took notes. County leaders say soaring retirement costs and the budget gap lead to the pay cuts. Poochigian says the county gave it’s best and final offer. Now she says it’s up to SEIU.

Supervisor Poochigian says, “If they want to go back to the table they need to come with a proposal. We have negotiated for six months. We’re negotiated in good faith. We reached impasse. The ball is in their court to come with a proposal. We have not seen a proposal.”

SEIU members will strike on Wednesday. They are expected to return to work on Thursday.

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