San Benito County workers make a $1.3 million pension offer

Media Advisory – July 20, 2012

Contact: Khanh Weinberg –  (408) 921-0098

San Benito County rejects workers’ $1.3 million pension offer

County’s proposed budget – with no long-term solutions – goes before public Monday

HOLLISTER, Calif. – Taking the lead on real pension reform, county employees represented by Service Employees International Union Local 521 have proposed to contribute the full employee-share of pension cost – and in an extraordinary move – to pick up part of the county’s cost as well.

The county would see an immediate savings of $1.25 million plus millions more in the years to come.

In offering this significant long-term savings, employees expect county officials to be better stewards of taxpayer money. Workers call on the Board of Supervisors to prioritize funding of vital public services; eliminate government waste and its top-heavy bureaucracy; and end the practice of hiring over-priced private contractors to do work already performed by county employees for a lesser cost.

San Benito County, which faces a $1.4 million budget deficit, has rejected the employees’ offer.
Instead, its proposed budget consists of cuts to jobs and services, with no real long-term solutions.

“Workers are making real sacrifices here, with real cuts to our take-home pay, so that San Benito does not become the next San Bernardino,” said Joan Miranda, county Eligibility Worker.

“As a community member it scares me that my 9-1-1 operator is 40-plus miles away and now more programs are on the chopping block. Our proposal would balance the county budget, and save jobs and services. I am shocked the county is saying ‘No’ to our offer.”

There will be a “Balance the Budget” rally on Monday, at 7 a.m., at the San Benito County Administrative Office, 481 4th St.

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The Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.

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