Fresno Co. imposes pay cuts on public health nurses

FRESNO, Calif.

The Deputy Director of Personnel Services told the Board of Supervisors: "The county has made all possible concessions and recommends imposition of the county's last, best and final offer."

The cuts average about 10%, but range from 9% to 25%. Bandy told the board the reduction cuts $682 thousand in costs, but since most of the nurses pay comes from state and federal sources the cuts only save Fresno County's Budget about $110 thousand. For each of the county's 74 Public Health Nurses it's an average hit of over $9,200.

Supervisor Henry Perea argued the drastic cuts aren't logical. "We are going to take $600,000 from a group where we are only going to net out $100,000 for our general fund, it's not computing, it's not making sense."

Supervisor Susan Anderson argued against stopping negotiations with the nurses and agreed the level of savings wasn't worth the pain caused to nurses. "I think the reduction in salary is not necessary because it's not general fund dollars and it's not in the best interest of the county or the public that these nurses serve, these are tough jobs."

But the three supervisors who hold the majority, Judy Case, Phil Larson and Debbie Poochigian weren't moved by the math.

Larson said: "I believe what we're trying to do is make a fair and equitable issue for everybody involved."

The California Nurses Association offered to take 6% cuts and make other concessions. They note other County Employee Groups sustained cuts of from 4 to 7 percent.

Lisa Harlow, a spokesperson for the CNA told Action News the union believes the County's Action amounts to an unfair labor practice. Harlow says the C N A is in the process of taking legal action.

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