By Len Ramirez

SAN JOSE (KPIX) – San Jose City Hall remains closed to the public, but workers stayed on the job.

“I was working for staff, doing health screening so they could come in and keep the library functioning,” said Estella India, a city library worker.

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Steven Solorio kept up code enforcement duties, going into businesses, making sure they were
following COVID rules.

“Code enforcers prior to even being vaccinated were out there in the field, making sure everyone was safe and secure,” Solorio said.

That’s why both workers and thousands of others were angered by the city’s refusal to offer pay raises in line with recent police pay hikes. Officers will get a 3.85 percent raise in July, on top of a 3.85 percent raise in May.

But city hall workers say the city won’t budge past 3% for them.

“It felt a little, like we didn’t matter,” Inda said.

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City Hall workers are planning a rally next week to protest stalled contract talks with the city and push for equity. In a flier that’s soon to go out, the city hall unions say frontline civilian workers should be invested in as much as sworn officers.

“We think they should be given the same level of respect that the police officers have been given in their contract,” said Matt Mason of IFPTE Local 21.

City officials declined to comment, citing ongoing negotiations.

But the San Jose Police Officers Association pointed out 27 officers have been killed in the line of duty in the U.S. this year, and had strong words for the City Hall unions:

“Being a police officer and protecting the public is dangerous work and we are compensated accordingly. It’s silly and misguided for some to equate desk bound work with what police officers do for compensation purposes.

City hall unions called the statement inaccurate and disrespectful, and are pressing on.

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“We’re all in this together, but we think the council and the mayor should take the initiative and
pay us the same as the police department,” Solorio said.