Updated: Jul 7
April 15, 2020
Supervisor, District 5
Board of Supervisors
2222 M Street
Merced, CA 95340
Dear Supervisor Scott Silveira,
On behalf of UPE membership, your constituents, we would like to address your comments made earlier this week at the Board of Supervisors meeting. Your response Tuesday, regarding the safety concerns many workers are feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic was insensitive, offensive and out right wrong. As an elected official, it is your responsibility not only to protect the safety of your
citizens but also your employees within Merced County who are working every day to provide the essential services you talked about. Your message not only demonstrated your lack of empathy for your employees but also showed your misguided anger towards workers seeking safe working conditions which will ultimately help protect their families and the community. Without added protections and safety measures for all citizens, including essential Merced County workers, Merced County is putting its constituents, and the community at risk. You are failing the very citizens you claim you want to protect. Your leadership is currently on display and your constituents will remember which elected officials stood up to the task of protecting the community, and who failed to act. True leadership includes empathy, compassion, and understanding. The very thing you are asking your employees to demonstrate, you have not. Despite what you think Supervisor Scott, our members are true leaders. Our members come to work each day and risk their lives. Continuing to work under these conditions should be recognized, not criticized. Our members deserve respect, and should not be belittled for voicing their concerns, their fears, or requesting safety precautions in order to
protect the community. Our members must be recognized for their courage, strength, the tremendous support they are providing, and for risking their family's well-being to provide the services needed.
9333 Tech Center Drive, Suite 300 • Sacramento, CA 95826 • (916) 736-9503 • fax (916) 736-9506
We will not stand for an elected leader who chastises employees for wanting to be safe while providing services to the community or who puts workers down for asking their employer to show appreciation for the risks they are taking. The workers signed
up to be public servants with the understanding that their employer would provide safe working conditions and recognition, without reprisal or intimidation for advocating for such. If you are unable to support your workforce, perhaps it is time for you, Supervisor Silveria, to rethink your line of work. And yes, there will be a lot of honest conversations moving forward about your role as the elected official for District 5. Your constituents deserve better. To the other supervisors, we hope you do not share Supervisor Silveria’s thoughts on this matter and we urge you to reject any negative comments made towards the dedicated, hard-working members, during this stressful time. You must recognize and appreciate their commitment despite the lack of support demonstrated by some.
United Public Employees
cc: Rodrigo Espinoza