Some California workers need public help

Sept. 7, 2009 at 10:36 PM
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SACRAMENTO, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Some lower-paid California state workers were pushed toward public assistance by furlough days that reduce their salaries further, a union representative said.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1000 is trying to help these employees by posting links on its Web site to food banks, utility discounts, housing subsidies and other forms of assistance.

Almost half of California's civil service work force is among the 95,000 state workers represented by the union, local spokesman Jim Herron Zamora told The Sacramento Bee. He said it is ironic the union is extending a lifeline to state workers.

"Our backbone is solidly middle class," he said. "This is embarrassing to them. These are blue-collar and white-collar folks who work. They don't see themselves as people who need public assistance or sympathy."

The union is backing workers in the state budget battle in which pay and retirement benefits are under fire.

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