Most Workers Would Take Pay Cut

February 4, 2009 9:02:00 PM PST
Seeing is believing for Dr. Timothy Wilkins. But when it comes to the state budget, this eye doctor doesn't know what to believe. Dr. Wilkins said, "It depends on how the California budget goes because we have a number of patients who are on insurance and if they get laid off they don't have insurance anymore so we lose them as patients." Losing patients could mean losing employees. He said, "We certainly don't want to lay anybody off. It's bad enough out there as it is."To avoid layoffs at his two offices he's focusing on a tentative plan. "If I took off an entire day and closed the office then everybody would share in the loss of income. I thought that was more fair and we're considering that."

In an exclusive Action News poll conducted by Survey USA, we asked more than 400 people in the Central Valley, "Would you be willing to take a pay cut to save jobs at your workplace?" 57% said yes, while 37% said no. When asked if they would take a pay cut to save their own job, the numbers jumped much higher. 82% said yes, about 15% said no.

Fred Molina considers himself in that majority. "I would have to. I wouldn't be happy with it but I wouldn't want to be out of a job so I would do what I have to do."

For the last 20 years Molina has worked for United Cerebral Palsy, which is funded by the state. He said, "This is the first time that I'm actually worried about income and paying bills and what's gonna happen next." He knows a lot of people who have already taken a salary cut. And according to those surveyed, one-third said they too know someone who's been asked to take a pay cut. 64% said they didn't know anyone facing a salary cut.

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