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Social service workers to get pink slips

January 5, 2009 7:17:15 AM PST
More than 200 O.C. social service workers will be getting pink slips on Monday, as county officials are forced to trim $30 million from this year's budget. The layoffs, now expected to affect 213 workers at Orange County's Social Services Agency, were announced last month and scheduled to take effect on Dec. 29 but were delayed until after the holidays.

Brooke De Baca, a spokeswoman for Orange County, said employees will be notified on an individual basis in a process expected to take much of the day.

Workers are in an uproar because they said that with the economic crisis, now is when they are needed the most. They have been the people helping the most needy in Orange County.

The need for social service workers are up, but the revenue for them is down.

The union argues there are other places that could be trimmed instead, like the renovation for the Board of Supervisors' lobby which reportedly costs about $327,000.

"The timing of this remodel is obviously awkward. Is it very expensive? No, but was it necessary, yeah, we had to address a few issues with security and with safety," said O.C. Supervisor John Moorlach.

The county argues they have already been cutting everywhere, and plan to cut more. 58 probation workers also face layoffs.

There is a proposal to furlough all remaining employees one day per pay period and to close some offices.

"If this trend continues, it could really hurt our Sheriff's Department, our District Attorney's Office," Moorlach said.

As for the social service workers layoffs, they will be effective Jan. 19. There has also been a notice that went out to all employees that they should consider other options.

The county's projected layoffs are the largest since Orange County's bankruptcy in 1994.

City News Service contributed to this story.


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