San Benito County rejects workers’ $1.3 million pension offer

San Benito County workers are ready to take the lead in pension reform, but county officials have signaled they would rather stick with the same old plan of cuts to services and staffing to fill a budget deficit.

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SEIU 521 members rallied Monday morning outside the County Administrative Office just before the Board of Supervisors convened a sham public hearing on the state of county finances.

County Administrative Officer Rich Inman presented various scenarios of major staffing cuts; and then acknowledged, when asked, that he had not shown department heads his plan for their review.

“I am worried about the state of our county. I feel we are slipping when we cut services to the public and I feel this year’s budget – full of cuts –  is just like all recent years: The county administrator is playing a broken record.” – Denise Quintana, Child Support Specialist III

In offering to take on a greater share of pension costs, workers would be saving the county $1.3 million immediately in a comprehensive proposal that results in pension reform and cost efficiencies. In return, the county must prioritize funding of public services; eliminate government waste and a top-heavy bureaucracy; and end the practice of hiring overpriced contractors to do work already performed by county employees.

 “We are ready to help fill the budget deficit with $1.3 million in pension reform. We are serious about not seeing San Benito go broke. We are serious about pension reform. Are you?” Quintana asked the supervisors.

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