To close a projected $943 million shortfall in the 2020-21 budget, the County of Los Angeles has asked SEIU 721 and other LA County unions to agree to several pay concessions:
- Suspend for one year, effective July 1, 2020, LA County’s matching contribution to employees’ Horizons 457 savings plan.
- Postpone for six months the negotiated 2.5% October 1, 2020 general salary increase.
- Postpone for one year the negotiated January 2021 2.75% salary step.
LA County is calling for these cuts as an alternative to layoffs. They contend that without the concessions, they will have no choice but to eliminate 3,720 positions – which would adversely impact as many as 6,000 employees through bumping, demotions and lay-offs. According to LA County’s budget documents, more than 1,300 employees could be subject to lay-offs.
While SEIU 721 members understand the looming budget crisis, now is not the time to take away from workers. SEIU 721 will not even consider postponement of negotiated raises at this time. We are asking LA County to first exhaust ALL other options – including fighting for possible federal funding to offset such devastating cuts on working families.
LA County representatives met with the union’s Bargaining Policy Committee (BPC) on Thursday, May 28 to present these proposals. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for next week, but only to discuss the proposed suspension of the 457 savings plan match. For now, SEIU 721 has taken the proposed postponement of raises off the table.
What about lay-offs and demotions? What can we do to prevent them?
We must join with working people around the country to get the federal government to provide financial relief to states and local governments. The House of Representatives in Congress recently passed the HEROES Act, a stimulus bill, which – in addition to providing a second round of $1,200 payments to workers – would also direct nearly $1 trillion to America’s states, cities, and counties.
“We will not agree to postpone negotiated raises while there is legislation pending in Congress that could make such cuts unnecessary.” – Bob Schoonover, President SEIU 721
If the HEROES Act passes, it could resolve LA County’s budget crisis. The problem is getting it (or something like it) passed in the US Senate.
Here’s the plan.
Our Senators in California – Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris – already support the HEROES Act. They’re not the problem. But in neighboring Arizona, Senator Martha McSally has not been supportive. She doesn’t care what we think here in California.
But she’s in a tough re-election campaign, so she does care about the voters of Arizona. We will contact union members in Arizona and connect our brothers and sisters to Senator McSally’s office so that they – the voters of Arizona – can deliver the message: “Don’t Bankrupt America’s Front Line!”
Join the fight to stop demotions and lay-offs. Text “VOICES” to 31996 so you can join our team of Digital Union Voices.
Then prepare to receive instructions and take action. Don’t let them call us “heroes” today only to put us on the unemployment rolls tomorrow. Mobilize to fight for the HEROES Act – because when we fight, we win!