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Workers protest Phoenix furloughs, city spending

PHOENIX — Over 200 workers spent hours Thursday in front of Phoenix City Hall expressing their frustration with city management over the financial fiasco that they claim will ultimately lead to cuts in programs and services because of a multimillion dollar deficit.

“My members have done 18 furlough days so far and now they’re saying we’re going to continue getting furloughed while upper management get raises and while politicians have their pet projects,” said American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2960 President Frank Piccioli.

Union members marched on Washington Street, while many accused city leaders of being corrupt and balancing the budget on the backs of city employees.

“We just got our water bill with a letter attached,” said FSCME Local 2384 President Luis Schmidt. “The City said they were doing great financially, that we had the biggest contingency fund ever. It’s just puzzling. It’s frustrating and demoralizing.

Last year, the former city manager said the budget would be balanced, he could cut the food tax with it affecting services. He got a big pay raise for it and now this deficit, it seems like he fluffed the numbers.”