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Giving street workers pink slips is insane

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POSTED September 24, 2009 1:35 a.m.
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I found your article regarding street maintenance enlightening.  Part of the message that I got was that our city streets department workers are working hard at maintaining our city streets, which has increased 53 miles in the last 10 years, with a staff that is equal to the staff in 1981.  This obviously, is due to the hard work and diligence of the streets department personnel.  

Yet, all of the workers in the streets department have received pink slips from the city (as well as many other city employees).  If they don’t accept the proposal from the city to further cut their pay and benefits/compensations, they will be fired.  If I understand it correctly, the city is threatening to hire contractors to maintain the city streets and perform other functions that the fired city employees perform.  Worried about our streets crumbling due to budget?  Consider how they will crumble without a city streets department and waiting for contractors to show up and maintain our city streets. We all know that some contractors do not meet deadlines and can go over-budget. Not to mention that the streets workers are also on call and respond to emergency situations in the middle of the night.  They come out to clean up after an accident, clean storm drains when our streets are flooding, set up for the city-sponsored street fair, etc.  Does the city expect contractors to come out and perform these functions?

From reading your article, I don’t see that the city streets department is overstaffed and don’t understand why a department that has the same amount of staff that they had in 1981 would send pink slips out to any of them.  If anything, it sounds like they are understaffed.
 Linda Castro
Manteca
Sept. 22, 2009
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