Dear Brothers and Sisters,
By now, many of you have received a Countywide email from CEO Sachi Hamai identifying the County’s significant budget issues for the upcoming fiscal year that starts on July 1, 2020. In her message, CEO Hamai specifies that the budget she is presenting to the Board of Supervisors will include potential layoffs of County staff due to the severe economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic Stay-at-Home orders.
While the prospect of layoffs is significant, we want to assure you that your Executive Board is working everyday with County management to find budget solutions that do not include any layoffs. We have already begun to address the budget shortfall with concrete measures that will help us avoid layoffs both Countywide and in our bargaining unit.
You may recall that we joined with Chief Leyva in a request to the CEO’s office to exempt the Probation Department from the hard hiring freeze, specifically because Local 685 members are peace officers and first line responders. Our joint request was approved by the Chief Executive Office, which clearly signals that the Board of Supervisors has on its radar the significant and necessary work of Local 685 members.
In Pre-Trial Services, we are working on a Pilot Program to protect our vital work in this area as a necessary part of the Court system.
In Children & Family Services, Local 685 members have demonstrated themselves essential to the critical working functions impacting vulnerable populations.
This partnership work was important to our current work and also critical in demonstrating to the County that our members’ important work should not be curtailed (meaning you should be protected from layoffs). We will continue to make strides in this area while we work with the County to find budget solutions to avoid layoffs altogether.
By now, all of you also should have received an email from County DHR asking you to verify your Seniority status. As identified in the CEO’s Countywide email, this early step is necessary to make sure that seniority dates are accurate in the case that layoffs are not avoidable. Please make sure to follow the instructions on the DHR email to assure that your seniority date is correct with the County.
IMPORTANT NOTE about layoffs if they are not avoided: CEO Hamai was specific that no layoffs will take place before October 1. CEO Hamai also stated, “We may be able to reduce these curtailments by the time we present a supplemental budget to the Board in September.”
You’ve heard if often stated over these past few months how we are going through “unprecedented times,” and now the County has added to that the prospect of layoffs. As we have since before COVID-19, your Executive Board stands with you, arm in arm, ready to take on this challenge with you and for you.
We will keep you informed as we work to fight off possible layoffs and keep job security for you and your families as our first priority.
President, AFSCME Local 685