Nearly 50 workers for the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority can finally breathe a sigh of relief. After learning Wednesday through a leaked document that their jobs were on the line, the authority’s board voted to try to find another way to cut costs.
The cuts would have represented roughly 20 percent of the housing authority’s workforce. The executive director of the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority proposed the cuts as part of a cost-cutting measure put in place because of a projected $1.5 billion 2016 budget shortfall.
However, some employees feel the proposed cuts was a case of union-busting.
“They’re at home, secure in their beds, while we, the 18 percent they’re going to cut, are doing the jobs,” said one worker who wanted to remain anonymous.
“I am the sole breadwinner for my home, we need this job to be able to sustain our family,” said Rev. Dr. Shaun Green, Housing Authority Worker.
A sustainability plan from the housing authority’s director John Hill will cut 45 positions. That’s nearly 20 percent of the agency’s staff.
“My job is a very difficult decision,” said Hill.
Union members claim they are being targeted by Hill because the SEIU and the housing authority failed to negotiate new contracts.
“None of the executive staff or any upper management positions were affected, only union positions,” said Marvin Coleman, Vice President of SEIU Local 1107.
In addition to the layoffs, the proposal calls for outsourcing management of four of its properties to outside companies, along with selling some properties. It’s all a part of a proposed measure to fill the budget shortfall.
Union members aren’t buying it.
“The shortfall’s 1.5 million, but they want to allocate IT systems. We have a shortfall, and you have to fire 45 employees, that don’t make sense,” said Coleman.
After two hours of public comment, and another hour of discussion and housing authority commissioners going back-and-forth — the commissioners decided to table discussion the until a new plan could be brought before the board.
“Let’s have a meeting tomorrow, I mean let’s really get down to pins and needles,” Hill said.