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Santa Rosa’s largest union approves furloughs

By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The city of Santa Rosa’s largest union on Thursday overwhelmingly agreed to accept furloughs that will reduce their pay by 4.6 percent.

By a vote of 257 to 22, or 93 percent in favor, the members of the Santa Rosa City Employees Association approved the one-year contract, said union president Tony Alvernaz.

“They are not happy because it will have some tremendous financial impacts, but they understand,” Alvernaz said.

The workers know the city is in a financial crisis and needs concessions from its workers to balance the budget, he said. Over the past several years, 88 positions represented by the union have been eliminated. “I think a lot of people are just grateful to have a job,” he said.

The agreement would reduce the general fund deficit by about $700,000 this year — 28 percent of the $2.5 million the city hopes to save through employee concessions.

The furloughs amount to one day a month, but workers will have some flexibility about when they can take the unpaid time off, Alvernaz said.

Each two-week pay period, hours will be taken out of their paychecks and put in a bank. When they decide to take furlough days, employees draw down the bank much like vacation time, Alvernaz said.





3 Responses to “Santa Rosa’s largest union approves furloughs”

  1. realist says:

    Scott P clearly has not looked into the full situation at hand and is listening to and repeating the “facts” without finding out the full picture. He obviously doesn’t talk to anyone who works for any sort of local government entity in today’s world. Take 96 hours and multiply that by your hourly rate. Looking at that figure, tell me in today’s economic climate how that would not have a significant impact on your life. Clearly, it does. Please remember when you are complaining about these folks, they are trying their hardest to keep their families provided for while having to deal with “getting it from both ends”; they are required to do more with less while dealing with the brunt of the public’s frustrations daily as well. Additionally, the employees in this instance are the front line staff, who are paid some of the lowest wages in the City, so yes, to quote the article this IS a “tremendous financial impact”. Sounds like “spoiled” to me…

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  2. Dan says:

    You certainly have to hand it to the Santa Rosa City Employees and their union chief, Tony Alvarnez, they negotiate an extra day off a month for themselves (which is time banked and used like vacation) and still get headlines proclaiming the great sacrifice they’re making. They’re good, no doubt about it.

    I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, a furlough is not a salary cut. The financial benefits of a furlough are short-term only. They are not long term sollutions to the problem of unsustainable public employee pay and benefit packages. And as if to prove my point, this contract in particular is just a one year contract so we’ll all be right back in the same place a year from now. This is what happens when you have union loyalists on both sides of the table. Do not vote for any union backed candidates.

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  3. Scott P says:

    Tremendous Financial Impact!

    That’s what the Union President claims. Give us a break. They’ve agreed to take one day off per month and not get paid? Big deal. Public Union employees are spoiled. Only they would claim that one unpaid day is going to have a “tremendous financial impact”. Hey Tony, get a clue…have your pay reduced 20% and work the same # of hours. That’s a pay cut, not the wussy day off you just negotiated.

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