Oakland City Employees Voice Concerns About New Budget

OAKLAND (KCBS) – City employees sent a clear message to Oakland leaders on Tuesday night that they won’t accept any more cuts to their benefits or pay.

Hundreds of workers spoke out before the Oakland City Council as Mayor Jean Quan talked about her budget plan. The proposal eliminates furloughs, but city employees said that doesn’t make up for the cuts they accepted during the recession.

Many are also upset about part of the proposal that calls for hiring nearly 50 new police officers over two years.

“While your attention is on more police officers, your budget hijacks public safety to a harshly reductive assumption that more police equals better public safety,” said one worker who spoke before the council.

But Mayor Quan said this is one of the strongest budgets Oakland has seen in years.

“The city is definitely on the rise. All of our taxes, our revenue are going up,” she said.

Quan said her proposal closes no libraries and tries to avoid major cuts to senior programs.

She does warn that more cost-sharing will be needed over the long term due to the rising cost of employee benefits.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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