Milpitas Patch has received word from a participant that a group of Milpitas Public Works employees, members of the United Public Employees of California (UPEC)/Laborers International Union Local 792, and working-class people affiliated with the South Bay Labor Council plan to conduct a picket line from 5-7 p.m. outside , immediately prior to tonight's City Council meeting.
According to a press alert issued by UPEC/Local 792, the picket line is in protest to City Manager Tom Williams' proposed lay-offs of City employees.
"The Milpitas City Council recently approved a recommendation to outsource core City services currently provided by dedicated, trained and knowledgeable City employees," the press alert indicated. "[These are] the very same employees who gave up a 15-16 percent reduction in salary or equivalent just last year, following a previous year of furloughs."
According to UPEC Business Manager Chris Darker, who represents the affected City workers, "The City Council's terrible decision was based on inaccurate information, trusting that the information provided by City Manager Tom Williams was factual."
"The employees submitted an alternative budget reduction strategy that was rejected without reasonable and honest evaluation," Darker said. "As proof of the City's misplaced priorities, , and added additional job protection while our members took significant pay cuts."
During that the state's dissolution of RDAs (redevelopment agencies) meant an annual deficit of $39 million. He said the only way to balance the City's budget from that point forward was to immediately cut a minimum of $7 million from the City's budget, which would mean laying off at least 42 employees.
"There's no funding now for public art and the Chamber of Commerce," he added. "This is the most dire and critical condition we've ever had."
According to the press alert, following the informational picket, a number of employee representatives and concerned members of the community are expected to address the City Council, "requesting a more reasonable approach to reducing the budget deficit be considered, and that the employee plan actually be looked at before being dismissed."
Visit UPEC/Local 792's website at www.upec792.org for more information.