Thursday, June 11, 2009

Push and Push Back

Governor Markell continues to pressure the Joint Finance Committee to vote for a salary reduction for state workers and school employees. He has not been able to capture the elusive seventh vote for any salary reduction schemes. Sources claim that the committee was deadlocked at 6 and 6 over a 4% salary reduction.

Reacting to the precarious situation, State Workers United pushed back hard today. The coalition hand delivered letters to each member of the JFC. The text of the letter is as follows:

It has come to the attention of State Workers United for a Better Delaware that the JFC is giving serious consideration to approving a 4% salary reduction for the 2010 budget.

In unequivocal terms State Workers United, on behalf of all our member organizations, is making it clear. A salary reduction is absolutely not acceptable to us; particularly one that is done without effort to find additional sustainable revenue.

We do not consider simply taking the Governor’s 8% reduction proposal and halving it a good compromise. In addition to the immediate pain this would cause our members and their families, such a vote would legitimize salary reduction as a legitimate budget balancing tool.

We understand the difficult position in which you find yourself. It is not easy to do your job when no substantive and sustainable revenue has been considered by the legislature. However, your continued refusal to vote for a salary reduction will force movement towards real revenue solutions that will maintain the Delaware quality of life.

State Workers United is willing to discuss alternative solutions with the JFC as a whole or with individuals.

Again, a vote for salary reduction will be considered a vote against our coalition and undoubtedly will be viewed by our memberships as a vote against them.


Vincent Fiscella, Tim Barchak, Karen Valentine
State Workers United for a Better Delaware

Deliberations of the JFC have been private to date; however, that will all change tomorrow afternoon. At 2:00PM on June 12th the Governor will sign a new open meetings and records act into law. The Joint Finance Committee process will be open to the public from that point forward.

The JFC will be meeting in the morning behind closed doors. Speculation is that the Governor will make a very hard push to settle the salary issue before the committee goes public in the afternoon.

Members need to stay alert and engaged. This struggle is a long way from over. Turn out, don't burn out.

Speaking of turn out...Thank your brothers and sisters at AFSCME for turning out large today and giving us respectable numbers for the Dover rally.

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