How the economic collapse is still affecting families in Costa Mesa and beyond

As the Costa Mesa City Council goes into closed session tomorrow to discuss their thoughts on our bargaining proposal to partner with the City, we wanted to  share this important story that ran in the LA Times on Sunday about how families are faring five years after the massively destructive 2008 Wall Street crash.

At the table last week, the City’s lead negotiator told City employees that as much as a 20 percent pay cut and massive reduction in sick leave would not have a significant impact to their families.

The story in the LA Times illustrates why those statements are so wrong. Increasingly, families across this Country are struggling as the economy struggles to recover. Many of our members are now taking care of elderly parents who lost their savings in the crash or supporting children who have graduated from college but who have still not found adequate work. Some are now the sole breadwinners in their households as the State’s jobless rate continues to remain high.

A deep pay cut would force some to make impossible choices: Do we buy groceries or medicine? Pay tuition or the mortgage?

Slashing sick pay so deeply could spell the difference between financial ruin or a recoverable hurdle for a family who has a sick child, parent or breadwinner.

The family in this story is just like many of the families who work for the City of Costa Mesa. The sole breadwinner in this household is a teacher who, just like the Costa Mesa employees, has a modest salary, retirement benefits, sick leave and health care plan.

The City’s employees believe there is a better way than the slash and burn attack the Council has proposed. We want to partner with the City to deliver the highest quality, most efficient services in Orange County. We will continue to pay increasingly more toward our retirements and help the City make common-sense changes to sick pay. Most importantly, we want to partner with the City to make it more transparent and accountable to the residents we serve.

The Mayor has said he does not want to partner with the City’s employees. It’s hard for us to understand why engaging with employees, treating them with respect and dignity, and partnering with them to make an efficient and accountable government could be anything but extremely positive for the residents of Costa Mesa. We hope you agree.