City: Nurses Will Be Paid More Here Even With Slashed Salaries

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City nursing assistants will soon be paid far less to deal with the R.P. McMurphys of the world
The city of San Francisco's response to hundreds of nurses who stand to lose perhaps $14,000 a year in compensation: You don't know how good you've got it.

The Department of Human Resources is circulating a survey of nurses' compensation in San Francisco and surrounding counties that states San Francisco nurses will still be better compensated than their nearby colleagues, even after suffering pay cuts of roughly 20 percent.

Read the one-page survey here:

Compensation Survey (2302 - CNA) w EPMC.PDF

As part of the ongoing layoffs and pay cuts that has pitted the SEIU against Mayor Gavin Newsom, large numbers of Certified Nurse Assistants will be laid off and offered jobs as "Patient Care Assistants." It's unclear how the duties of the jobs differ -- but PCAs will earn quite a bit less than CNAs: The annual maximum has been pared back from $62,088 to $49,374.

And yet, contends the city, nursing assistants elsewhere would be thrilled to earn this kind of money.

Nursing assistants in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma Counties earn between $38,220 and $48,339 -- with an average annual max of $43,749.

This survey, however, didn't much impress SEIU members. Organizer Robert Haaland called it "morally embarrassing" and reiterated the SEIU's No. 1 talking point on this move: That these pay cuts and layoffs primarily affect minority women of color. Haaland asked whether the city was preparing a survey regarding its more highly paid employees or managers.

And, in a way, it has: The Board of Supervisors this summer flogged a survey claiming city firefighters earn more money while working fewer hours than almost all their colleagues in neighboring environs. And, several years back, the board requested a survey that revealed an explosive growth in management positions in San Francisco.

So the "San Francisco pays way too much!" card isn't all that rarely played by management. That being said, the massive pay cut and layoff card is relatively rare.

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