By Kurtis Alexander – The Fresno Bee
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 | 10:45 AM
Modified Tue, Jan 24, 2012 01:17 PM
Fresno County workers are striking today in similar numbers as Monday, and union leaders and county officials remain no closer to settling their differences.
Between 1,400 and 2,000 employees — around 25% of the county work force — are off the job in protest of wage cuts. Estimates from the county and union leaders conflicted.
The staffing shortfall is continuing to squeeze county programs, primarily social services, but county officials say core services remain intact.
Both members of the 4,100-member Service Employee International Union chapter and 75-member California Nurses Association chapter are striking through Wednesday.
Hundreds marched upon the county Hall of Records this morning to demand county negotiators return to the bargaining table and work out a more amenable contract.
CRAIG KOHLRUSS / THE FRESNO BEE
Audience members, many of them Fresno County workers or supporters, applaud during the public comment segment of the county Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Jan. 24.
The Board of Supervisors is holding its weekly meeting today, but board members have so far said nothing publicly about what they plan to do, if anything.
Dozens of striking workers criticized the board during the meeting’s public comment period.
“They try to make it seem like we don’t work hard,” said Jennifer Day, a county nurse. “I am just fighting for a little respect.”
Union members claim the county hasn’t spent enough time working to negotiate with employees. Most saw pay cuts of at least 9% in December.
County managers have said they don’t have the money to pay more.