Do You Enjoy Your Job?
Every City employee will have a different answer to this question.
Maybe you don’t love what you do. Maybe you don’t go home feeling 100% satisfied with what you gave to the world for the day. Maybe you think technology is not as sophisticated as it should be in your workplace. In general, most City employees do enjoy their jobs for the following reasons (correct me if I’m wrong in the comments):
- good income
- good benefits
- choice of schedule (9/80, 4/10)
These are all the things that entice folks to become City employees. These are the reasons we, as parents, advise our children to look into City jobs. These are the same reasons we congratulate our friends when they get City jobs. They’re set for the rest of their career.
Marleen: But what if that all changed?!
You: Changed? It can’t be changed. What could possibly change?
Marleen: What if you no longer had a Union?
- The City would lower the scale on your job classification. They could decide that every step will get paid $4.00 less an hour when your union contract expires. What would you do then? Would you take the pay cut or would you quit?
- The City could decide they can only cover half you medical benefits. Do you know the City pays approximately $2,000 for each employee per month on top of your salary for benefits? What would you do if they decided they’ll only pay half of that $2,000? Could you afford the other $1,000 to have medical benefits for your family?
- The City could terminate you wrongfully? Could you afford to hire an attorney when the City attempts to terminate you after twenty years of service because you don’t get along with your neighbor (who knows you work for the LAPD and calls in to report that you called her the B-word)? YES, this happened. And YES, the Union got her job back, and NO, it doesn’t only happen to “bad” employees. Nobody deserves to be fired for something that has no nexus to their job.
- The City could alter your work schedule. Would you be as happy if the City took away your 9/80 schedule? What if you use that day off to take your sick parent to treatment? Who are you going to call for help? You could use your sick time. What if the City reduced that as well? You could take the days off without pay. Take enough of those and the City can discipline or terminate you for attendance.
- The City could stymie payments to LACERS. Even WORSE, what if the City underfunds the retirement fund so grossly over the next few years that there’s not enough money to cover everyone, including you? Who’s monitoring that fund for you without a Union?
I urge every City employee to ask themselves these questions. I urge you to do research on States like Wisconsin whose public sector unions are dwindling. So is their pay and so are their benefits.
Lately, my days as a labor rep have revolved around these types of discussions. Yes, things can change and they can change fairly easily if you had no union. Are you willing to accept these types of changes?
It’s Something to Think About
List of Departments Represented By Marleen Fonseca
- Departments Represented
- City Administrative Office (CAO)
- Employee Relations Board (ERB)
- Human Relations
- Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE)
- El Pueblo
- Public Works – Sanitation