Wage disparity grows in Watsonville

Media Advisory
May 14, 2013

Contact: Jerry Jimenez
(408) 219-9636 cell

Wage disparity grows in Watsonville

As workers receive cuts, management benefits from increases

WATSONVILLE, Calif. – While Watsonville City executives have enjoyed $400 car allowances and wage increases ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 since 2009, frontline workers have sacrificed financially to balance the budget and maintain services.

This is a growing and disturbing trend for Watsonville. Since the recession, managers already receiving six-figure salaries continue to see their salaries and perks increase throughout the years. Administrative leave for management now costs taxpayers almost $250,000 per year. A phone stipend for management costs the city an additional $7,200 per year.

It’s a different story for frontline workers, who are among the lowest paid city employees. Since 2009, frontline workers have taken the hardest hit in concessions, including pay cuts and furloughs. Many are living paycheck to paycheck.

Now city management proposes to balance the city’s budget by significantly increasing health care costs for workers, continuing 10 percent work furloughs, and forcing other concessions on a workforce that already bore the burden of balancing the budget for the last four years.

Tonight city workers and community members will speak against this disparity and for the need of more accountability and transparency to the public.

DETAILS:

WHAT: Watsonville City workers and community members will speak against wage disparity and for the need of more accountability and transparency to the public.

WHEN: Tonight, May 14, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Watsonville City Council Chambers, 275 Main St.

WHY: City executives have enjoyed wage increases and expensive perks at taxpayers’ expense while frontline workers make financial sacrifices and bear the burden of balancing the budget.

VISUALS: Workers, community members with signs

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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. For more information, visit www.seiu521.org

May 14, 2013

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