monopoly_money.jpgSeveral hundred protesters are marching down Market Street in San Francisco this evening, topping off an afternoon rally that called on top city officials to forgo pay raises they are set to receive later this year.

The salaries of San Francisco’s mayor, district attorney, city attorney and public defender are set to increase in July as a result of a law approved by the city’s voters in 2006.

The law went into effect in 2007 and requires the Civil Service Commission every five years to set the salary for those elected officials based on the average of their counterparts in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Organizers with Service Employees International Union 1021, which represents more than 13,000 San Francisco city workers, held a rally this afternoon in front of City Hall to protest those proposed pay raises, union spokesman Carlos Rivera said.

Rivera said union members are unhappy that top city officials could get raises while “asking for the fifth year in a row for more cutbacks and wage cuts” from the union.
“Our members are very upset,” he said. “It feels really unfair.”

The rally began at around 4 p.m. outside City Hall and speakers addressed protesters who held signs reading “We keep this city running” and “We paid our fair share.”

A large inflated rat sat nearby and supporters hoisted a banner that read, “It’s time to draw the line – downtown greed or the city we need.”

Shortly after 6 p.m., the supporters took to the streets, blocking traffic on Market Street as they march and chant slogans like “We are the union, the mighty, mighty union.”

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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