Right now, nurses, trash collectors, teachers, road pavers, sewer workers and just about everyone else who keeps our communities running are facing salary reductions, benefits cuts, furloughs and other hits to their economic well being. A 16% salary cut to someone who is making, say, $33,000 annually could mean having to choose between buying groceries and keeping the lights on.
This doesn’t just hurt working families. It also hurts our communities,
because it makes public sector work much less financially attractive to
qualified job applicants, which guts the workforce of top talent.
“They’re scaring people away from the public sector,” says Tim Burke,
who works for the City of Hemet and who has seen many of his co-workers
struggle with furlough pay cuts this year. “Now people are going to look
at public service and question whether they want to get into it.”
An article in today’s Los Angeles Times about the declining numbers of
people training to become school teachers
confirms what Burke is saying. “It’s kind of difficult to encourage
people to become teachers” when they keep hearing about layoffs and
severe cutbacks, says Dale Janssen, executive director of the state
Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
As for Burke, he says that someday he’ll retire from public service, and
he’s very concerned that the next generation won’t be there to take his
READ: L.A. Unified superintendent: New L.A. schools chief to take lower
READ: Today’s teacher layoffs threaten tomorrow’s college classrooms
Categories: Truth Tracker