State workers prepare for the worst

May 29, 2009 2:28:04 PM PDT
Hundreds of thousands of state workers are finding out the governor is proposing to cut their pay to help trim the budget deficit. Meantime, seniors and health care advocates worried about service cuts are beginning an unusual campaign to send a message to lawmakers.

MOST POPULAR: Video, stories and more
SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

The governor is expected to announce a five percent further pay cut for 235,000 state workers as part of his plan to cut $3 billion out of the $24 billion budget deficit. Other cuts will be in healthcare and welfare and the bottom line is that nobody is happy.

Some state agencies like the DMV already require workers to take two unpaid days off a month. Add in the proposed five percent pay cut and wage cuts already in effect, and 235,000 state workers face making 15 percent less than they did a year ago.

"There is nothing I can say right now except that I am shocked because I mean, in this economy you don't expect to be cut even more. Everyone is struggling right now," said state worker Evan Kung.

"I think that everybody else is sacrificing and we might as well. Five percent is not as much as a layoff, I have had some friends that were laid off so losing five percent to come in here, hey, it's still a job," said state worker Eddie Shcop.

The pay cuts are expected to save the state $470 million. Earlier this week, the governor proposed cutting welfare grants for poor families and eliminating a healthcare subsidy for poor children. It's those cuts that a coalition of seniors, healthcare providers and advocates are fighting.

They dropped in on the offices of Bay Area lawmakers to try to convince them to vote against any further cuts in healthcare and welfare.

"As someone that grew up in a single-parent household, and an immigrant household, I relied on these programs growing up as a kid," said Jennifer Tae.

"We need these services for the seniors in order to live independently, because when they leave us, we have to go back to their families that are in a convalescent home and that is much more expensive," said Shirley Burton.

"Without the services that he [the governor] wants to cut, people are going to suffer, people are going to die," said

Friday's protests are a lobbying session is organized by a group called 'Healthcare Access.' They will stop at the different lawmakers' offices in the Bay Area and the idea is to try to convince them not make any more cuts in healthcare and welfare programs, and maybe even increase revenues with some sort of tax increase.

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget


Load Comments