Chop from the top - Page 2

Avalos seeks to pare management to save health care jobs

Some individuals were promoted with salary increases ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 annually.

"I don't know how one does that," Kawa said when asked about Avalos' proposal. "It doesn't make any sense to me."

Daly, meanwhile, noted that Department of Public Health Chief Financial Officer Gregg Sass had highlighted a preliminary projection for an $8 million DPH budget surplus in a Sept. 15 memo. Daly announced that he plans to request the money be flagged to go back into the department to stave off deskilling of frontline workers.

When asked if this money was available to fund the CNAs and clerical workers, Sass responded, "I don't think it is." Emphasizing that it's a preliminary figure, he added that "any additional funding, should it exist, is a component of the city's overall ability to stay on budget this year and offset any shortfalls in city revenue ... and address the large projected deficit for next year. I don't see how it could be seen as 'available' until the city has better projections of [other tax revenue]."

The union had planned for a lengthy session with mayoral staff to continue negotiations on the same day of the supervisors' meeting. But when Kawa learned about Avalos' proposed legislation, he got angry and walked out, according to one SEIU member.

Asked if proposed legislation detracted from the negotiations, Kawa told us that "it made the last one difficult because it was somewhat of a surprise. And usually when you're in good-faith negotiations, you share with the other folks the activities you're up to so that you know that they're actually there to negotiate in good faith."

Back at SF General after the groundbreaking ceremony, Newsom posed for photos with top public health officials, scooping shovels full of loose dirt with golden spades. The giddy atmosphere dissipated when the mayor turned around to find himself ringed by a group of reporters vying for a chance to pepper him with questions. He responded to most of their queries in typical loquacious fashion. But when the Guardian asked him to comment on Avalos' proposed legislation, his face darkened slightly. "I don't have any comment," he responded gruffly. Then he was whisked away for more photographs.