(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) — At this week’s San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors public meeting, more than 60 county employees, who are members of Teamsters Local 1932, attended in order to testify in front of the Board about how wage theft is directly impacting not only the cost of living, but their basic needs, many holding signs that read, “San Bernardino: Keep Your Promises.”
County workers—who perform key jobs such as 911 dispatchers, techs at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, child abuse hotline workers, building and bridge inspectors, flood specialists and many more—testified at the meeting about how the County’s broken promises have affected them.
“Our contract with the County promises us a step increase every year, which we count upon to help us cope with expenses like rent increases and the rising cost of groceries. But last year, the County started holding back those increases – for months or even a year,” said Susan Carl, San Bernardino County Eligibility Worker. “Many of us are underpaid compared to similar jobs in the private sector, so having to wait an extra year for the increase hits us really hard.”
In June, the County agreed to make up for the step increases it had held up, but then reneged on the agreement days later.
“What does a promise mean?” many county workers asked at the meeting– but there was no response from the Board of Supervisors.
“In our opinion, this is wage theft,” said Deidre Rodriguez, general manager of the County workers’ union, Teamsters Local 1932. “Public employees came to this meeting to say that they’re not going to be quiet any more. With the rising cost of living, it is unconscionable to suddenly stop giving workers their small but essential wage increases. The San Bernardino County Supervisors need to keep their promises.”
San Bernardino Public Employees are part of the Teamsters Public Service Division which represents over 273,000 employees at city, state and federal facilities and related businesses across the United States.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.