SJ Layoffs Dampen Holidays for 25 Workers

City worker told last day on job is Xmas day

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Greg Wojcik helped make the San Jose McEnery Convention Center shine. For 29 years, he helped clean it.

    And he helped set up for every convention, including the San Jose International Auto Show. "We'd dust and mop the floor, scrub it, scrape gum," said Wojcik.

    But the City recently told Wojcik has was being let go because of the budget. His last official day on the job would be Christmas Day.

     "Oh yeah, of course I'm upset", said Wojcik.

    "It's unfortunate," said San Jose spokesman Tom Manheim. "That happens to be the end of the last pay period in 2010."

    What also gets to Wojcik is that he was only eight months away from retiring with full benefits.

    Now, he'll have to buy his own health insurance until he turns 55, in 3 years. "I'll have to end up paying over $1200 just to keep my insurance," said Wojcik.

    The City is battling to plug a $118 million budget hole this year. Manheim said the City will save $500,000 by laying off Wojcik and 24 other custodians.

    And next year the budget deficit is only slightly smaller at $90 million.

    "I think it's very hard for all employees who lost their jobs," said Manheim. "This organization is going through difficult changes."

    Manheim says the good news is the company contracted  by the City to do its custodial work, G.C..S. Services, re-hired Wojcik and his laid-off colleagues.

    At the time of publication, G.C.A. Services, based in Ohio, had not returned our messages seeking comment.

    But at least two current G.C.A. custodians at San Jose City Hall today told NBC Bay Area, 'good luck with the benefits.' And the pay won't be the same.

    Wojcik said the Convention Center shine won't be the same either, as he waits to turn in his work badge -- on Christmas Day.