South San Francisco, CA August 8, 2022 Press Release
Preschool teachers, 911 dispatchers, park employees and other people working for the City of South San Francisco may soon be voting on whether to strike for the first time in memory. A city worker strike could impact South City’s parks, libraries, preschools, 911 call centers, building permits, and other essential services.
South San Francisco City employees could vote on a strike any time this month, according to their union representatives at AFSCME 829.
More than 95% of members working for the City have signed commitments to go on strike if necessary.
People For A Fair South City, a campaign started by city workers through their union, says South San Francisco’s City Council can avoid a shutdown of essential services by paying them the same as what other cities pay their workers.
“With the rise of inflation, a livable wage has become a necessity. South San Francisco employees make nearly 12% less than those in neighboring cities doing similar jobs. We’re not asking for a lot, we’re just asking to be able to live where we work,” said Kristin Pierotti, SSF preschool teacher.
South City management’s own salary survey shows the city pays these employees 11.74% less than their counterparts in other Bay Area municipalities. Workers say the City effectively cut their paychecks by about 1% every year by refusing to adjust compensation to inflation and the high cost of living in the Bay Area.
“People literally rely on our 911 line to help save their life, yet South San Francisco chronically underpays and overworks dispatchers. We spend more time at work than we do with our families. We are expected to be on call constantly and work our days off, often with last minute notice. We don’t get regular breaks even on 14-hour shifts.
Why do I choose to stay where I am when I can go to any other agency in the county and make more money? It goes back to loyalty – I love my job, I love my coworkers, and I love the city I work for. It is disheartening that we have to fight for equal competitive wages, especially in these times of economic crisis.” said Marisa Jordan, SSF 911 Dispatcher for 15 years
Approximately 120 South San Francisco City workers could go on strike later this month, including:
- 911 dispatchers
- Park workers
- Tree trimmers
- Preschool teachers
- Facilities maintenance workers
- Public works workers
- Building and construction inspectors
According to the city’s own numbers, South San Francisco has nearly $60 million in reserves, nearly half the annual operating budget, and twice what’s legally required. City workers say the city has more than enough to pay workers more.
“There’s no question whether or not South City has enough money currently or will have enough future revenues to pay us fairly. Workers pour their hearts into this city, so management needs to show us some love too,” added Nate Pisani, Senior Park Maintenance Worker
People for a Fair South City says people can help avoid a strike by sending an email to the entire City Council with one click at FairSouthCity.org.
UPDATE 8/10/22 The City of South San Francisco press release on this issue can be found CLICK HERE.