AFSCME District Council 36

Local 3961 Launches Campaign to Save Cathedral City Services

Cathedral City employees represented by Local 3961 made the headlines recently when they packed the City Council chambers to speak against threatened mass layoffs and service cuts to the community.

In part due to the loss of about $3.5 million in local redevelopment funds, the City has proposed to slash employee wages and to eliminate nearly 30 positions in the bargaining unit – half of its membership – including in the police and fire departments.

Among the positions the City has targeted for layoffs: Police Dept. dispatchers, service assistants, and clerical support staff workers, fire department office staff, engineers, parks and recreation maintenance staff, and many more. All too typically, however, management proposes to eliminate only the lower-paid rank-and-file workers on the frontlines of service delivery to residents, while leaving the disproportionately more expensive and remote management positions unscathed.

Local 3961, with the Council’s assistance, is organizing a multi-pronged campaign to fight back. Already, the community is taking note, thanks to the organizing activities and public comments of the union’s members. Among the lead activists are Sandy Ramsey-Woods (pictured here), who captured the attention of all of the local TV news stations and the press,  Jose Leon, Sandra Martinez, Lorraine Rodriguez-Wild and Susie Genera, President of the Local. 

The City will be holding a series of additional public meetings on management’s proposals throughout the month of April – and you can bet that Local 3961 will be there every steps of the way, calling for alternative budget solutions that will not mean mass layoffs and the decimation of this working-class community’s public services.

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