To the Editor:
Long Beach City Manager Jack Schirnman and the City Council suddenly and inexplicably demoted 25 CSEA members to lower pay grades in an ostensible case of union animus.
This dubious development victimized hard-working public servants who had earned promotions last year for serving the city with loyalty, dedication and going above and beyond the call of duty. They are the same people that dispatch 911 calls, enforce parking and safety, and pick up your garbage in all kinds of weather. They preserve the beaches, boardwalks, bathrooms and parks, make sure residents have clean and safe drinking water and maintain all water and sewer services. They care for the children, elderly and run all sports programs and city events for residents. They repair and maintain all vehicles, fire hydrants and streets. They plow the streets when it snows.
A larger-than-life example of their contributions to quality of life in Long Beach came last summer when many of them expertly operated heavy machinery to create large barriers of sand all along the ocean and bay beaches in an attempt to prevent surging walls of water from flooding the streets in the days before Hurricane Irene.
Clean-up operations began in earnest when the storm passed and the highway department cleared debris from local streets while the sanitation department picked up refuse deposited near homes and parks. Members of the beach crew replaced the large wooden posts that support the boardwalk that were broken or loosened by exposure to the pounding surf and salt water. All CSEA members worked all aspects of the clean up to ease the pain after Hurricane Irene to get the city back up in running in record time. We pulled off the impossible and we were able to still hold a world wide surfing event less than a week later.
CSEA members play a tangible role in making Long Beach among the most desirable communities to live on Long Island. We are not just a number and name on a piece of paper, but residents and taxpayers, too. We are CSEA, the backbone of the city, and all we ask is to be treated equitably and respectfully in return.
CSEA Long Island Region