Solano County cuts 166 positions, lays off 118


The vote was 4-1. County supervisors decided to eliminate 166 positions which includes 118 layoffs.

"It's across the board in just about in everything that the county touches," said Solano County spokesman Stephen Pierce.

One union, SEIU, represents 60 percent of county employees -- they'll feel the brunt of these cuts. Social worker Akbar Bibb says his department will lose 23 people.

"It's going to hit us with our calls and going out on referrals, which will place our families at risk, if we're not allowed to be out there right now," said Bibb.

The county is facing an $18 million projected deficit. Negotiations with the union failed to produce an agreement on concessions. SEIU says the county rejected their offer which could have staved off layoffs.

"We proposed a 37 and a half hour, four-day work week. We believed the reduction would be 6.25 percent of payroll," said SEIU treasurer Amanda Booker.

But the county said the union vastly overestimated just how much their proposal would save. Supervisors did decide at the last minute to continue talks with the union to see if they can reduce the number of layoffs by cutting more fat. Their deadline for that is December 8, 2009.

"I'm assuming that they're probably going to have some discussions today as to how they can go back on track, you know, laying the swords, and the guns, and the knives at the door and going in and really talking about how we can help save some positions.

The layoffs take effect January 2nd, but there may be more pain to come. Tuesday's board action only took care of half of the $18 million projected deficit. Board members still need to deal with the other $9 million.

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