Friday, September 14, 2007
Nathan Selzer, Political Director
HIDALGO COUNTY EMPLOYEES HOLD RALLY FOR WORKING FAMILIE SURGE COMMISSIONERS COURT TO IMPROVE SICK LEAVE POLICY AND DISTRIBUTION OF RAISES
Hidalgo County members of the Service Employees International Union and supporters will hold a rally at the Hidalgo County Courthouse plaza to raise awareness to the plight of working families. At issue are current policies which prohibit employees from using sick leave to care for ill family members and the proposed 2008 cost of living adjustment.
“We have worked with County representatives to develop a common sense sick leave policy that doesn’t cost tax-payers a dime and will enable us to use our sick leave to care for our children when they get sick,” stated Daisy Perez, an Hidalgo County Auto License Department employee and member of the SEIU Consultation Committee. “Now, it’s just up to the Commissioners Court to make the proposed policy a reality on Tuesday.”
The proposed policy changes also include provisions that will ensure that employees suspected of abusing sick leave are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and encourage those who leave the County to donate their unused sick leave hours to the County Sick Leave Pool to be used by employees in case of catastrophic illness.
“One point that we don’t agree with is a proposed annual 3-day limit to the sick leave time we can use to care for our families,” said Nidia Torres, an Hidalgo County Precinct 2 employee and mother of two. “Unfortunately, my kids don’t just get sick three days a year. I’ve already earned the sick leave. I just want to be able to use it when my kids need me to be by their side.”
SEIU is also proposing to save the County money – by distributing raises more fairly in a flat $1,250 increase for all County employees, instead of a 4% increase. “The $1,250 increase is a win-win for the County,” stated Mike Janssen, an Hidalgo County Precinct 1 employee. “It will save several hundred thousand dollars as compared to the proposed 4% increase, enable the County to start 2008 with a true, balanced budget, bring the County’s Fund Balance up to 10% for a better credit rating, and do the right thing for the lowest paid employees.”
Hidalgo County Courthouse plaza, corner of Cano and Closner, Edinburg, Texas (Across the street from the Courthouse in Edinburg).
Monday, September 17, 2007 - 5:30 p.m.
Sponsored by the Service Employees International Union, Local 5. SEIU’s mission is to improve the lives of working people and their families and lead the way to a more just and humane society.