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City Workers to Protest Furlough Days

City of Concord employees belonging to the Teamsters Local 856 union plan to show up at work Friday despite a mandatory furlough day.

The first of 13 furlough days for City of Concord employees happens Friday — but some workers plan to show up anyway.

Employees backed by Teamsters Local 856 will protest the furlough day, claiming that the mandatory shut-down of city services is unlawful. Participating workers include those from the Field and Operations Unit and the Administrative, Clerical and Technical Unit. These employees answer 911 calls, repair and maintain city streets, monitor water and sewer lines, maintain city parks, issue business licenses and building permits, process background checks and subpoenas, and impound cars, as well as other public services.

A press release from Teamsters Local 856 states that, "despite the passage of Measure Q in 2010, which raised city revenue for the express purpose of protecting and maintaining Concord’s municipal services, the city is ignoring the voters’ referendum and forcing city services to be shut down."

The union press release also states: "The City’s own budget projection includes sizable surpluses; however it is still forcing furlough days and cutting city services. City employees maintain that in some cases, furloughs actually exacerbate costs by increasing the amount of overtime the city must pay other employees to cover essential functions."

Workers planning to show up Friday "feel passionately about serving the citizens who voted in 2010 to preserve and maintain the essential city services that they perform," according to the press release.

The city has stated that it intends to discipline any employee who attempts to provide public services, according to the union.

What do you think of the 13 mandatory furlough days for City of Concord employees? Share your thoughts below.

Charlie September 20, 2012 at 06:13 PM
If everything the union is claiming here is true, these furlough days do not seem prudent, in terms of economic impact (overtime issues) and issues of public safety (emergency services such as 911.) Still, the City of Concord has always impressed me with its fiscal responsibility (e.g., emergency reserves), which is one reason why it took longer in our city than in many others for the State economic problems to affect our budget expenditures. Lay offs were many fewer in Concord because matters were thought through and alternatives utilized. Maybe I am behind (because we cancelled our daily newspaper delivery sometime back), but I'd like to think these furlough days are also part of the smart fiscal planning our City leaders are known for. Measure Q notwithstanding. :-(
Paul Wilson September 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM
The unions are the problem not the cure!

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