Pico Rivera city workers are fed up. City administrators have cut employee hours, extended furloughs and threatened to slash services, all under the guise of continued budget problems.
But SEIU 721 members know there’s a better way to do business. That’s why dozens of Pico Rivera city workers packed the July 23 City Council meeting, sitting together and holding signs that said: “It’s Time for a Change in Pico.” Full-time, part-time and hourly employees were there in a show of unity.
That “change” starts with current City Manager, Ronald Bates, and his right-hand man, Asst. City Manager, Michael Matsumoto.
City workers lined up to speak to the City Council about the mistreatment the workforce is suffering at their hands.
“I’m disappointed that management decided to cut workers’ hours to 28 hours a week or below, which has pushed a lot of workers to quit and put us under financial strain. It has also put a strain on city services, since there are more workers with less experience that have to fill in.”
-Desiree Saavedra, Pico Rivera Parks and Recreation Worker
SEIU 721’s Research and Policy Department presented a true picture of the city’s financial picture, showing that the City Manager dramatically under-projected city revenues and over-stated upcoming pension costs in order to seek more takeaways from Pico employees.
Given the health of Pico’s budget, workers suggested ending furloughs, restoring cut hours and hiring more city workers as ways to improve city services.
City Council members, including the mayor, all
said they want to work closely with Pico Rivera city workers to
resolve these issues. Councilman Gregory Salcido went even further:
“There has been a lack of good faith in how we deal with each other.” He
then told the room, “I don’t believe the lack of good faith can be
fixed under the current administration. … We aren’t communicating
Click here to watch a video of the Council meeting.
Pico Rivera workers marched out of the City Council
chambers and onto the front steps of City Hall for a brief rally. They
pledged to aggressively reach out to Council members and take their
message to the residents.
“We haven’t spoken up like this before. It was important for us to show the city how we feel. Now, we’ve got to keep the momentum going to make Pico a better city.”
-Victor Ramos, Pico Rivera Facility Maintenance Worker