James Hackett, Chief Shop Steward and bargaining team member, presented new numbers to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Feb. 25 showing the stark differences in top management and worker pay compared to the cost-of-living in Fresno County. While the County CAO enjoys an extra $35,000 per year, average workers in Fresno County have fallen behind inflation and have less purchasing power than they did 10 years ago. The cuts to worker pay have also had a direct impact on Fresno’s economy, dampening spending by millions of dollars per year. He told the Board it is time to Invest in Fresno.
“A worker who maxed out in 2005 at $50,000 per year would make $61,915 if they kept up with inflation. Instead, a person in the same position is actually making $55,782.
“In other words, we have less purchasing power than they did 10 years ago and over $6000 less per year than if we kept up with inflation,” said James Hackett from SEIU.
Hackett continued, “This translates to a very real loss in purchasing power which, not surprisingly, translates into a loss of purchasing. Our friends at the Chamber of Commerce have drilled it into our heads that every dollar spent locally is circulated about 7 times before it leaves the community. Even in the most conservative case, we’re talking about millions in local spending that has been stopped because this Board is not putting our Community First.”