Some of us heard first hand from the county on Tuesday that cuts to county jobs were averted for the mid-year. Yeah! And then, we were pleasantly shocked to learn the county actually would increase the workforce by 20 new coded positions. For the moment there, we thought we were back in the good old pre-recession days.
Unfortunately, our euphoria lasted only a few seconds before the numbers brought us back to this reality: nothing is certain.
“Looks like we are looking at no mid-year cuts and possibly a maintenance budget for the next fiscal year, 2012-13. But with so many unknowns out there, we have to stay active to ensure a fair budget for the next year.” – Ruben Garcia, Chapter Vice Chair
Ruben and other SEIU 521 Santa Clara County Chapter Officers attended the Feb. 7 Board of Supervisors meeting so that they could report back on the county’s mid-year budget situation.
On the one hand, the county is building up a sizable reserve funds which provides us some sense of security that we can achieve a maintenance budget for next year.
- The contingency reserve is being restored back to $91.4 million
- The on-going reserve for economic uncertainties has grown to $22.8 million
- The projected year-end savings is $24.6 million
- Major revenue sources are anticipated to grow (we have to wait until the recommended budget process to get numbers).
On the other hand, we face unknown risks that can easily wash out a good portion of our reserve funds. For example:
- If the state budget deficit grows beyond $9.2 billion, the legislature may seek to press more service cuts that can impact the County.
- The outcome of concession bargaining for some units will have an impact on our future outlook.
- A downward slide in the economy could easily weaken our revenue projections.
Our chapter officers will continue to keep an eye on the budget. If you are interested in securing a balanced and fair budget for fiscal year 2013, please don’t hesitate to join our budget action team by contacting your worksite organizer or union steward.