Nevada is considering eliminating a large number of municipal public service jobs as a step in bridging statewide budget shortfalls, a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Las Vegas AFSCME members recently organized to vocalize their objection to the plan at a recent Interim Finance Committee hearing. The membership insisted they be included in any decision making that would affect their employment levels across the state.
“State employees know our jobs best and we are prepared to be part of the solution to help the state navigate through tough choices…we demand a seat at the table,” said Harry Schiffman, an electrician at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.
The delegation also made it clear that an elimination of public service jobs posed a great risk to necessary emergency, education, utility, and other vital municipal functions at a time when communities most require them.
Nevada is already coping with record levels of unemployment, and “laying off or furloughing state employees will only add to these numbers, putting our state further behind on the road to recovery,” Daphne Deleon, an education project manager.
The Finance Committee so far has not acted to approve the furloughs and layoffs.
Read more about the AFSCME delegation’s presence at the hearing and the importance of maintaining public service jobs across the state here.