Despite Member Protest, Hemet City Calls for Layoffs and Cuts

hemet_morgan_newlin_575p.jpgMorgan Newlin, Public Works Inspector II and SEIU 721 bargaining team member, addressed the Council on June 24.  Newlin’s job is one of those proposed for elimination.
Following several weeks of City of Hemet worker testimonies on how proposed layoffs and cuts will affect working families and the need to respect the collective bargaining process, the Hemet City Council approved a budget that calls for elimination of positions and more cuts.
hemet_tim_burke_80x80p.jpg“Your decision will erode the vision you’ve said you want for our city – one that attracts businesses, where families can raise their children, and one that retains quality workers.” – Tim Burke, SEIU 721 Hemet Chapter President, addressing the Council.
During the June 24 meeting, Council members were more concerned about trying to keep their Washington lobbyist than keeping city jobs. City management has maintained the need for cuts even though bargaining had not begun and city reserves are well over the mandated amount.
At a recent SEIU 721 membership meeting, the bargaining team laid out the City’s initial bargaining proposal which includes deep cuts to wages and benefits, including:• Over 5.5% salary reduction by reversing last year’s 2.5% COLA and having employees pay 3% more in retirement contributions• Eliminate merit pay increase• Ability to eliminate 4/10 schedule• Eliminate all premium pay; i.e. education incentives, certification  pay, longevity pay, etc.• Layoffs based on favoritism, not seniority• Yearly “Use it or Lose It” Holiday Pay• Expand management rights to contract out or privatize services
Click here to download an update flyer.
SEIU 721 bargaining team will meet with management on July 2 to discuss the proposed layoffs and furloughs, then the next bargaining session will be July 30. Additional membership meeting will be held in August. 
Stay Informed – Prepare to Fight to Protect Your Jobs, Wages and BenefitsMake sure we have your current personal email and phone number on file so you can receive important updates on bargaining, upcoming membership meetings and actions. If you have any questions or workplace issues you can contact worksite organizer Christopher Stout at (760) 408-5033 or the 721 Member Connection at (877) 721-4YOU (4968).