SEIU 721 members and our labor allies packed the City Council meeting on Friday, Oct. 26, to speak out against the city’s plan to slash our retirement benefits. Sanitation workers engineers, 911 operators, librarians and the head of the LA County Federation of Labor addressed city leaders. Unfortunately, they Council did the wrong thing. They adopted an ordinance to create a second tier in our civilian pension system.
Future city workers will be hit hardest. The ordinance hikes the retirement age of new hires to 65, lowers their retirement factor and eliminates spousal healthcare during retirement. It’s a bad plan that could drive future city workers into poverty.
“I’ve worked in the city’s Bureau of Sanitation for 25 years and have been a union steward for 20 years. I stand on the shoulders of prior city workers who sacrificed so that we could have pensions. It’s my duty as a union member to stand up for my coworkers and all future city employees.”
Brian Story, Refuse Truck Operator
“What type of employee are you going to get to come to this city with this plan? I’ve worked here for 21 years. I’ve seen council members like you come and go. I cannot let your knee-jerk, politically motivated decision go uncontested. I will be bringing myself and a few hundred of my closest engineering friends to go to your neighborhood meetings to let them know what’s happening. Be prepared.”
Michael Hunt, Transportation Engineer
This vote maybe over, but our fight is just beginning.
SEIU 721 members just filed group grievances to protest the city’s end run on our collective bargaining rights. And we are pursuing other legal remedies to stop the ordinance before it takes effect on July 1, 2013.
We are also gearing up to stop former mayor Richard Riordan’s attempt to destroy our pensions. Riordan is pushing a ballot measure that would make us pay more for retirement and give new hires risky, high-cost 401(k) plans.
Get involved with our campaign to save retirement in LA. Call 213 368-8643.