Public employees feel blindsided by Newsom’s layoff scheme

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Mayor Gavin Newsom made business tax cuts the centerpiece of his Jan. 13 State of the City speech
PHOTO BY LUKE THOMAS/FOG CITY JOURNAL

Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposal to lay off 10,000 city employees and rehire them at lower pay is being met with outrage by some public-sector workers. The plan, crafted as a way of saving money to balance the city budget, would amount to sweeping pay cuts across the board for a significant number of city workers.

Formal discussions about it are in the earliest stages, and Tony Winnicker, the mayor’s press secretary, described it as “just one alternative that we’re investigating.” Nonetheless, some members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021 are furious that the mayor unveiled this plan in the San Francisco Chronicle instead of at a meeting with the city’s labor leaders.

“As far as we can tell, an idea he has ended up on the front page of the Chronicle that’s had a devastating ripple affect among the people who work for the city and county,” SEIU Local 1021 President Damita Davis-Howard told the Guardian. “We feel like we got a sucker-punch. … We really wish he had talked to us before he governed by press conference.”

Davis-Howard said she’s been inundated with phone calls from angry union members who read the article. “This is the same proposal he floated last year,” Davis-Howard said. “Most of our members believed that they gave up their holiday pay in order to avoid this very thing.”

The proposal, which was briefly considered last year but never moved forward, serves to illustrate just how hard financial woes are hitting San Francisco. The city is staring down a $522 million deficit, and Newsom’s proposal would make up for a mere $50 million in savings.

Winnicker declined to comment on Davis-Howard’s concerns about being blindsided by news of the layoff plan, brushing it off by saying the mayor did discuss it with “some folks in labor.” Instead, he suggested that Newsom is getting serious about solving the budget crisis while the Guardian is just focusing on irrelevant gripes.

“It is an unprecedented budget shortfall, and it is real,” Winnicker said, stressing that the gaping budget gap will have to be bridged without the infusion of federal stimulus dollars that cushioned the blow last year. “The easy choices are behind us.” This layoff plan could prevent “hundreds, if not thousands, of layoffs,” but the mayor is open to other ideas that labor brings to the table, he said.

“That logic is just flawed,” Davis-Howard said when asked about the assertion that the plan could prevent layoffs. “That’s not the way you re-stimulate the economy, by taking more dollars out of the economy. We can’t continue to balance the budget on cuts, because pretty soon the actual fiber of the city and county of San Francisco will be reeling because of the number of cuts that we sustained.”

When asked how SEIU Local 1021 would respond, she said, “I do believe we need to be open-minded, imaginative, and creative in coming up with some revenue-generating measures here.”

No doubt the mayor will receive plenty of suggestions as negotiations continue in the coming weeks.

Comments

If the city, or the union president, for that matter, would look at overtime spending for this union they might find ways to effectively cut spending without dipping into regular salaries. Many of the OT policies in place are absolutely wasteful and unnecessary. In some cases the effect is that these workers make more money than their non-union supervisors. When the city could staff the same position with another on-staff worker for half the cost I fail to see how a union is protecting the workers rights as much as using their power to take advantage. Look at the contract and the OT clauses that exist and fix those. The OT payouts for city workers are obscene and will not go away because you cut 2.5 hours off their week if they are still eligible for unnecessary OT that far exceeds the 2.5 hours you will take away.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 5:13 am

THIS union, though not the best, represents the little people that have not been able to receive overtime or even comp time for the number of extra hours they put in every week. You must be thinking of the Fire and Police overtime.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

I find it hard to believe that anyone employed by the city other than management works over forty hours and doesn't get paid time and a half.

Here is a link to the states labor board, tell any hourly employee you know working for the city not getting OT to file a claim. Tell me how that works out.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToFileWageCLaim.htm

Posted by glen matlock on Feb. 15, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

If you really knew the situation you wouldn't be making such an uninformed statement. OT has been cut considerably. When the Mayor and supervisors need to be focused on is cutting out many of their pet projects that are costing the City money. In particular this over the top 12B compliantcy . If the citizens of SF really knew what this was costing them they would be outraged.

Posted by Guest David on Mar. 07, 2010 @ 11:32 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... if the Mayor was truly serious about solving the budget crisis ... then why did he not start with his own (city and government workers?) What do I mean about this ... type my name into a google search engine and read about how the city BROKE the law, TESTILIED in federal court to have my case dismissed and then SIGNED a CONFESSION ADMITTING FAULT and GUILT. I went to the Mayor with a signed confession, got stonewalled,etc. Well, we could cut the budget, solve pension problems, etc if he had integrity ... where is it. Oh, that's right ... now we can layoff ... so is there any HOPE left? Sure, the false rethoric and clever accounting plays; but, what about real REFORM or the chance at fairness ... oh, I forget this is politics (Alice in Wonderland) ... we;;, folks it IS NOT ABOUT YOU just what they can DO TO YOU! So let this BS start and see where it takes you ... down the long road to skill devaluation, race to the bottom of wages, and lastly with such bad work being done already ... only WORSE TO COME. I however still sit here DEAD RIGHT, LEFT FOR DEAD and the LIVING DEAD ... luckily, I CAN NOT BE HARMED MORE since they took NO PRISONERS in federal court and SCORCHED EARTH tactics used against me. Thank GOD, I went to them ... the professionals ... well, Mayor any comments, spins or better yet MORE FALSE HOPE?

Posted by Guest: Jason Grant Garza on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 6:28 am

Newsom is proposing that city workers be rehired at 37.5 hours a week instead of 40. It's not that big of a deal. I am a city worker and I'm willing to accept this rather than see hundreds of my co-workers laid off. We are well paid and have excellent benefits. However, I'm sure the clowns at SEIU will decide to be "militant" and threaten a strike when the contract expires in June. Go ahead, strike. I and the vast majority of my co-workers will wave at you as we go to our jobs.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 7:51 am

In response to your comment: You're an idiot! I would not be surprise if your masking yourself as a city employee who's job is about to be cut. And even if you are willing to be rehired assuming that you will be - you may want to read your newly hired disclosure form before you sign the paper. Why, because when another layoff is inevitable you'll be the first one to go.

GOOD LUCK TO YOUR BUDGET RESOLUTION.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

Keep waiting and bending. I had it. They will do to you what they did to 540 of Department of Health colleagues on November 25th. After 20 years I am empty-handed. keep waiting, let them walk all over you. Did you know that if you get laid-off you have to pay $400+ from your unemployment check to pay for health insurance. Nice benefits, ha?

Posted by Sonia M. Galvez on Feb. 11, 2010 @ 11:03 am

I am also a city worker and I can say that I work my butt off and would be more than willing to work even harder at 37.5 hours just so I can keep my job. I love my work and enjoy my coworkers being there with me all together. I think in hard times everyone has to take one for the team and stick togeher so that city services can maintain a certain level and workers can keep their jobs in these hard times

Posted by Guest on Feb. 25, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

I think city workers are willing to go for the 37.5 work week. Problem isn't the hour, the problem is that the mayor wants them to become temps. If he really just want to cut the work week short, furloughs would have done the job. There would be no need to fire and rehire. Being temp workers gives him the right to fire you any time he wants. that's what he is after.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 04, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

Mayor Newsom shows no leadership. Instead of bringing workers and leaders together he goes to the press and spews out his ideas that are not well thought out. He behaves like a bully and if you dont agree then he does character attacks. We should send him a "Republican" voter registration card. He was given many budget solutions last year and simply ignored them. He has hired people from this failed campaign for governor. He hired at least 4 political appointment with no experience in the job he hired them to do. Start with letting them go, get rid of all temp workers including retirees who came back to work and are doing jobs current emplolyee should be doing. Reduce police overtime, find revenue ideas and talk to the workers and their leaders with respect. THis will help him during difficult time. He should look and what Mayor Dellums did in Oakland, it was hard but everyone pitched in to help the city maintain employment and services.

This Mayor needs to resign and allow real leadership to move forward. This budget shortfall was know to the mayor yet he did nothing to solve it except go to the easy road of cutting the workers salary. What a shame and waste. Now all he needs is some cheese to go with hi swhine. Opps he does have wine.

Posted by andre on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 8:23 am

I agree with your comment.
There are always the "emergency hires" to circumvent the Civil Service Rules and bring in Managements buddies and cronies who ususally are not qualified. And most of these folks are not being impacted by the layoffs.
In the spirit of what is fair all of the city workers from the Mayor to the street sweepers should take a cut, not just the rank and file who are unclogging the sewers, processing the poop and keeping the lights on. The Police, Fire, the mayors Minions and Muni should all take cuts as well.

Posted by Guest Another City Worker. on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

The number of city employees keeps growing while the population remains the same. 99% of the people in the city would never notice if we went to 1980 staffing levels, but the "progressives" would howl.

Posted by glen matlock on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

Hasn't anyone asked about why we are not laying off Deputy Sheriffs, SF Police, and Firefighters & Paramedics. Every other City has figured it out. All the above are earning no less than $100,000 and thats because thats their first year on the job.. base line. Since they all have an agreement in their contracts that everyone in law enforcement or fire services must be close in pay and must make the same or better wages. Why isn't Newsom making the same decision to lay them off and offer them lower wages, he said he's not laying off, just not rehiring back all of them. I say thin out all three departments. 500 positions @ $100,000 each body, in each of the three departments is a good start.

WOW, $150 Million Savings, then do another layer of layoffs. Then we can all share in the pain that this City is going through. The BSers want you to think that it wouldn't be cost savings for the overtime needed to cover the loss of even one policeman or fireman.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

Glen, You forgot that since 1980 the amount of federal and state spending for city services has declined dramatically, and the city has had to make much of that up with local spending. Since the Reagan era, urban problems have become much worse, and the city has responded.

Posted by Tim Redmond on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

The state and federal government were paying for the cities hundreds of commissions created since 1980, and the cities department of environment, labor standards and who knows what else?

Urban problems like illegal immigration which progressive encourage?

I find it interesting every time I hear a SF progressive complaining about their taxes going to war.

Posted by glen matlock on Feb. 16, 2010 @ 8:17 am

Why are these city workers and union complaining. Everyone is cutting and so should they!!!!! The union bought the auto industry down and it will bring the city down if this crap is continuing on.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 11, 2010 @ 9:55 am

The reason they are complining you idiot is because they have given back much already. A 7 1/2 cut to pay into retirement, 10 unpaid holidays, wage increases, and furlough days. It really galls me that you uninform people meak idiotic comments without doing your home work. City workers work hard for their money, at lesser pay than they could get in the private sector. Those working in the private sector are fine with this until they lose their jobs. Then they want to throw the City workers under the bus. You know, misery loves company.

Posted by Guest David on Mar. 07, 2010 @ 11:42 am

Comment: Mayor Newsom's "proposal" is yet another attack on City services. Does he really think that services, including revenue producing work like tax collection and hospital eligibility work, will not be cut if hours are cut? What is really telling is that this Mayor has never lifted one finger to look at possible revenue enhancements; he has put his name on a few, but has provided no assertive leadership to provide additional revenue for needed services.
In these hard economic times, services provided by City and State workers are needed even more than during "normal" times. Reducing staff, and hours, of workers taking MediCal applications will mean many people who qualify for federal funding for health care will not get coverage -- and the City will suffer because City tax payers will end up paying for emergency medical care.
Comments about there being too much OT by City workers may be right -- but it is not the fault of the workers doing the OT. City departments need to hire enough people to get the work done, rather than relying on paying extra pay for OT. There is nothing in any union contract which says the City can't hire enough people to do the work.

Posted by Guest Ed Kinchley on Feb. 11, 2010 @ 10:57 am

The City has wonderful beefits. Right. Ask me where I am after 20 years of service (SFGH, Dept. of Psychiatry). Are you aware than in order to have health insurance you have to pay COBRA $400+ from your unemployment check. Nice benefits, so nice I now live in Oregon.

Posted by Sonia M. Galvez on Feb. 11, 2010 @ 11:08 am

The board of supervisors should ask the mayor to cut his staff first. This will test his leadership skills. Next, review all city personal service contracts to see how much a 6.25% cut will generate. Ask for a reduced work week from december 23 thru dec 31 on a volunteer basis. How much will this generate. next: ask police and fire to see if they can reduce overtime expenses. next: what can the city do to speed up the business permit process and how can they create a fast track for small business owners and do it online also.

can the city tax online purchases of goods and services, huges sales tax revenue is lost online to giants like amazon and others. the online purchases will kill the businesses that have a store in the city. what state law can we either amend or pass to collect money from online sales. Review ideas to reduce spending and review policies that are socially responsible but economically unworkable.

The most important first step: Ask the workers who provide the services about their thoughts to reduce costs and become more creative during these challenging times.

What is needed is for the mayor to show leadership and stop the attacks on the workers who are the lowest paid public servants and their union.

Posted by andre on Feb. 14, 2010 @ 9:39 am

Something funny....Newsom won reelection in 2007 with 74% of the vote while second place candidate had 6%.

How many of the future laid off workers voted for Newsom and how hard am I laughing now?

Posted by An on Feb. 15, 2010 @ 11:20 am

The Nuisance won with 74% of the 26% of registered voters that even bothered to vote. You do the math. If only 26% of the plus/minus 459K voters bothered to vote he surely did not get elected by the masses.
He's like Nero, playing his fiddle while the City burns down around him.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 02, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

Great suggestions, Andre.

With the way MTA is handling its budget, ideas need to come from the public they serve, not just the management of the Departments and their Unions.

There is money. The problem is how it is spent and where it isn't collected. Better plans would come from citizens and line city-workers. Leadership from below.

The layoff scheme is hopefully dead. It's too convenient for a political pogrom at the same time.

Posted by Guest city worker on Feb. 16, 2010 @ 7:28 am

Glen, all those commissions you talk about cost very little. The big-ticket items in SF government are things like Muni, public health, social services and police and fire.

The federal government and the state used to spend huge sums helping cities with social services (and spent billions on housing, saving cities from dealing with homelessness). The state used to pay a sizable part of the cost of SF General Hospital. That's all gone now.

So go ahead and complain about commissions that cost a few hundred thousand dollars a year, but they aren't busting the budget. It's the stuff that cities have had to take over from Sacramento and Washington. That's what's killing us.

 

 

Posted by tim on Feb. 16, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

Who cares if the public employee unions feel blindsided? The City faces a huge deficit. There is not enough money to pay our bloated workforce. Either workers or wages need to be cut. Private industry is cutting deep and so should the City.

Also, after watching Supervisor Eric Mar try to give the SEIU workers a RAISE as part of a package to reign in the cost of pensions, I have no sympathy for public employees any longer. It's becoming increasingly clear that our current BOS believes that their mission is to represent the public employee unions and not the citizens who are paying taxes.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

I think that one of the main reasons why the city is experiencing so many economic problems is the direction in which local 1021 has chosen to take. This corrupt local, which represents San Francisco city workers, has squandered millions of dues dollars by investing in raiding other locals. Instead of spending over a year on this anti-union practice, 1021 should have been using this time to come up with a viable plan to minimize the impact of layoffs.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 18, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

Why not VOLUNTARILY ask employees if they'd like to work 37.5 hours a week instead of 40. I'm not a public employee, but would leap at the chance to work four 9 1/2 hour days and have 3 days weekends and would gladly take the corresponding decrease in pay.

If enough people volunteer, then the problem is solved on a voluntarily basis.

Posted by Scott on Feb. 19, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

Geeez, thass what I said!
It is gonna be a clusterfk to process all those layoffs and then re-hire.

Off with thier heads!
What a great negotiating tactic...and the unions supported this guy!

Posted by Guest Another City Worker. on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 9:17 pm

Geez, thass what I said.
It's gonna be a clusterfk to lay everyone off and then rehire (wink, wink).

Off with thier heads! Is a hellofa negotiating tactic
Lay off the mayors minions.
I can't believe the unions backed this Bum

Posted by Guest Another City Worker. on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

Now that Jerry Brown annouced that he is running for Governer - Maybe Gavin will take a step backward and review his steps.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 02, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

Now that Jerry Brown annouced that he is running for Governer - Maybe Gavin will take a step backward and review his steps.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 02, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

Stop hiring retired employess back as "consultants"

Posted by Guest on Mar. 02, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

The decision to layoff city leeches was a good decision that Newsome made but a better decision would be to terminate their employment. City Workers have a abused the system for decades, wasting the peoples taxpaying money and not producing any work for the tax paying dollar. City Workers drive the Cars with the seal of San Francisco to do personal errands, they watch baseball games and other sporting events during working hours in their houses. Most of these blood sucking leeches aren't qualified to do any real work. They were hooked up by a family member, friend, or brother in law etc etc. I believe that these leeches who were in their security bubble of getting paid a substantial amount of money to do nothing, will now have to do nothing because that is all they are capable off. They will not work any real Job, I know three City Workers who I will call David, John, and Ken. David at age 38 used to live in his parents home and would go play soccer everyday before he was employed as a cityworker. David had no Job, no Job experience, and quite frankly would never consider working any Job at all that required physical labor. One day John who is Davids Buddy and who also is a leech was telling David that all he does is goes to 24 hour fitness, plays soccer during working hours and gets paid over $60 dollars an hour just to drive a citycar and do nothing. John's job description is a "Painter" for the city. John eventually ("Hooks up David to do the samething Get paid taxpaying dollars to do NOTHING.) Now Ken was working in the traffic department making $70.00 dollars an hour. He has been working in the city for 20 years, and everyday at work he had a 1 hour breakfast, 1 hour lunch, 2 hrs after lunch nap and 1 hour "healthy walk" every day. Since he likes the world cup of soccer he never misses a game during city working hours and his most recent news is that he is suing the city because he was past over for a supervisory job and he is now in disability for stress for not being promoted and he is getitng paid from the city all his paycheck for this fake disability. JAJAJAJAJA !!! That is really funny...What a joke these so called city workers. THIS IS THE SOLUTION: Newsome should hire contracters with real documented workers who will accomplish the work necessary to make San Francisco beautiful instead of paying the city worker who produces nothing and simply robs our tax paying dollars with their lazyness. In conclusion, hiring these lazy blood sucking city worker leeches is waste of taxpaying money and has left the city and county of san francisco and the state of california in financial crises and it has nothing to show for it. On the other hand hiring a contractor, the contractor must complete the work to get paid money. San Francisco and the state of california would still have money if it didn't waste our tax paying dollars on these city leeches. City leeches are everywhere, City College Campus, Park and Recreation, and many other departments. There should be a rule..if your useless at work you should not get paid any taxpaying dollar.

Posted by Hans Weiler on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 10:35 am

The decision to layoff city leeches was a good decision that Newsome made but a better decision would be to terminate their employment. City Workers have a abused the system for decades, wasting the peoples taxpaying money and not producing any work for the tax paying dollar. City Workers drive the Cars with the seal of San Francisco to do personal errands, they watch baseball games and other sporting events during working hours in their houses. Most of these blood sucking leeches aren't qualified to do any real work. They were hooked up by a family member, friend, or brother in law etc etc. I believe that these leeches who were in their security bubble of getting paid a substantial amount of money to do nothing, will now have to do nothing because that is all they are capable off. They will not work any real Job, I know three City Workers who I will call David, John, and Ken. David at age 38 used to live in his parents home and would go play soccer everyday before he was employed as a cityworker. David had no Job, no Job experience, and quite frankly would never consider working any Job at all that required physical labor. One day John who is Davids Buddy and who also is a leech was telling David that all he does is goes to 24 hour fitness, plays soccer during working hours and gets paid over $60 dollars an hour just to drive a citycar and do nothing. John's job description is a "Painter" for the city. John eventually ("Hooks up David to do the samething Get paid taxpaying dollars to do NOTHING.) Now Ken was working in the traffic department making $70.00 dollars an hour. He has been working in the city for 20 years, and everyday at work he had a 1 hour breakfast, 1 hour lunch, 2 hrs after lunch nap and 1 hour "healthy walk" every day. Since he likes the world cup of soccer he never misses a game during city working hours and his most recent news is that he is suing the city because he was past over for a supervisory job and he is now in disability for stress for not being promoted and he is getitng paid from the city all his paycheck for this fake disability. JAJAJAJAJA !!! That is really funny...What a joke these so called city workers. THIS IS THE SOLUTION: Newsome should hire contracters with real documented workers who will accomplish the work necessary to make San Francisco beautiful instead of paying the city worker who produces nothing and simply robs our tax paying dollars with their lazyness. In conclusion, hiring these lazy blood sucking city worker leeches is waste of taxpaying money and has left the city and county of san francisco and the state of california in financial crises and it has nothing to show for it. On the other hand hiring a contractor, the contractor must complete the work to get paid money. San Francisco and the state of california would still have money if it didn't waste our tax paying dollars on these city leeches. City leeches are everywhere, City College Campus, Park and Recreation, and many other departments. There should be a rule..if your useless at work you should not get paid any taxpaying dollar.

Posted by Hans Weiler on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 10:47 am

I'm a social worker at SF General Hospital. I've read the comments and wanted to clarify a few things.

People will be getting pink slips this Friday the 5th. In 2 weeks we will find out if we will be rehired or not.

There will no longer be full time employees. The people who are re-hired will be hired for anywhere from 20 to 37.5 hours/week. So those of you that think you're just being reduced to 37.5 may be facing a 20 hour a week cut. Many workers will be transferred to other areas, or will be working a different shift than they are now (disrupting the 'family' created in many of our clinics & departments & people's schedule with their own family at home).

Luckily, the hospital pays benefits as long as you work 20+ hours/week so if you do get hired back, you will likely keep your benefits (unless these are cut in the next round - we were told this is the 'first round of cuts').

As social workers, we have not been allowed overtime in many years. If we work overtime, we are given time & 1/2 in time we can take off but we are never allowed to make over our regular salary every week. And in the last 2-3 years, we have not been allowed to work overtime. If we work past 8 hours in one day, we have to leave early the next day.

We lost all of our hospital clerks in the last round of cuts, which means all hospital staff have had to take over those duties. That means a nurse, who should be able to focus on patient care, has to also take care of answering the phone and filing all paperwork.

Many of the resources we used to use to assist patients in getting stabilized in the community have been cut. We often have poor discharge plans for sick patients as a result. The hospital has so little money, that it often is forced to discharge patients that we strongly feel need to stay, with very little community service to help them when they get home.

I would not say that we have more staff than we need. There are very few positions that I can see in and around the hospital that could be cut without harming our population greatly. I do agree with people suggesting that speaking with line-staff on where best to make cuts would produce much less impact than many of the cuts we've seen so far.

It's not an easy crisis to fix, this giant budget shortfall, but I do wonder if the cuts might be more substantial money-wise, and less devastating from a public health perspective, if taken elsewhere.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 11:46 am

I'm a social worker at SF General Hospital. I've read the comments and wanted to clarify a few things.

People will be getting pink slips this Friday the 5th. In 2 weeks we will find out if we will be rehired or not.

There will no longer be full time employees. The people who are re-hired will be hired for anywhere from 20 to 37.5 hours/week. So those of you that think you're just being reduced to 37.5 may be facing a 20 hour a week cut. Many workers will be transferred to other areas, or will be working a different shift than they are now (disrupting the 'family' created in many of our clinics & departments & people's schedule with their own family at home).

Luckily, the hospital pays benefits as long as you work 20+ hours/week so if you do get hired back, you will likely keep your benefits (unless these are cut in the next round - we were told this is the 'first round of cuts').

As social workers, we have not been allowed overtime in many years. If we work overtime, we are given time & 1/2 in time we can take off but we are never allowed to make over our regular salary every week. And in the last 2-3 years, we have not been allowed to work overtime. If we work past 8 hours in one day, we have to leave early the next day.

We lost all of our hospital clerks in the last round of cuts, which means all hospital staff have had to take over those duties. That means a nurse, who should be able to focus on patient care, has to also take care of answering the phone and filing all paperwork.

Many of the resources we used to use to assist patients in getting stabilized in the community have been cut. We often have poor discharge plans for sick patients as a result. The hospital has so little money, that it often is forced to discharge patients that we strongly feel need to stay, with very little community service to help them when they get home.

I would not say that we have more staff than we need. There are very few positions that I can see in and around the hospital that could be cut without harming our population greatly. I do agree with people suggesting that speaking with line-staff on where best to make cuts would produce much less impact than many of the cuts we've seen so far.

It's not an easy crisis to fix, this giant budget shortfall, but I do wonder if the cuts might be more substantial money-wise, and less devastating from a public health perspective, if taken elsewhere.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 11:54 am

I'm a social worker at SF General Hospital. I've read the comments and wanted to clarify a few things.

People will be getting pink slips this Friday the 5th. In 2 weeks we will find out if we will be rehired or not.

There will no longer be full time employees. The people who are re-hired will be hired for anywhere from 20 to 37.5 hours/week. So those of you that think you're just being reduced to 37.5 may be facing a 20 hour a week cut. Many workers will be transferred to other areas, or will be working a different shift than they are now (disrupting the 'family' created in many of our clinics & departments & people's schedule with their own family at home).

Luckily, the hospital pays benefits as long as you work 20+ hours/week so if you do get hired back, you will likely keep your benefits (unless these are cut in the next round - we were told this is the 'first round of cuts').

As social workers, we have not been allowed overtime in many years. If we work overtime, we are given time & 1/2 in time we can take off but we are never allowed to make over our regular salary every week. And in the last 2-3 years, we have not been allowed to work overtime. If we work past 8 hours in one day, we have to leave early the next day.

We lost all of our hospital clerks in the last round of cuts, which means all hospital staff have had to take over those duties. That means a nurse, who should be able to focus on patient care, has to also take care of answering the phone and filing all paperwork.

Many of the resources we used to use to assist patients in getting stabilized in the community have been cut. We often have poor discharge plans for sick patients as a result. The hospital has so little money, that it often is forced to discharge patients that we strongly feel need to stay, with very little community service to help them when they get home.

I would not say that we have more staff than we need. There are very few positions that I can see in and around the hospital that could be cut without harming our population greatly. I do agree with people suggesting that speaking with line-staff on where best to make cuts would produce much less impact than many of the cuts we've seen so far.

It's not an easy crisis to fix, this giant budget shortfall, but I do wonder if the cuts might be more substantial money-wise, and less devastating from a public health perspective, if taken elsewhere.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

has newsom ever thought about the impact it would have on the families of the city employees while playing this game with the unions. the lives he's affecting?

being a city employee with a pink slip, i have seen hard working people who actually deserves what we are making, even after the cuts after cuts we have endured.

now with the layoffs, i've seen countless of city employees that have gotton their pink slips. i know of families that the husband & the wife both got pink slips. i know of husband & wife both got pink slips & a child starting kindergarden next year but could not get into any of the 7 school of their choice, instead they gotten into a school way across town with of course a budget crisis with teachers with pink slips.

we are all people who live & work in this city & pay taxes & yet we get this kind of treatment.

i ask all the newsoms out there, what would you do if you were in our shoes?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2010 @ 3:14 pm