San Antonio, TX -- Representative Joe Farias (D - San Antonio) hailed the decision of the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) on Tuesday to give a 2.5% wage increase to all former Bexar Metropolitan Water District (BexarMet) employees who are now employed by SAWS.
During the 81st and 82nd Legislative Sessions, Representative Farias worked with the authors of the legislation, which called for an election to dissolve BexarMet, in both the House and the Senate to ensure that BexarMet employees would be protected if the utility was dissolved. "House District 118, which I represent, represents the largest population of BexarMet rate payers and employees within the water utility's system. It is for this reason that I was particularly concerned about the future status of BexarMet employees if dissolution of the utility did in fact occur," Representative Farias said. "In an effort to address the issues brought forth to me by my constituents, I fought to have two amendments attached to the final version of Senate Bill 341 to ensure job security for BexarMet employees who made less than an annual salary of $50,000 or who were close to retirement." The full description for both amendments can be found below:
1) For a 24-month period following the transfer of the employment of any employee of the former District (BexarMet), the System (SAWS) may not terminate that employee if the employee is vested in the retirement program of the District on the effective date of this Act and earns an annual base salary of less than $50,000.
2) For a five-year period following the transfer of the employment of any employee of the former District (BexarMet), the System (SAWS) may not terminate that employee if the sum of the years of service of the employee and the employee’s age is equal to or greater than 80.
"After fighting for two sessions to protect the jobs of BexarMet employees in the transfer to SAWS, I am glad to see that SAWS is working to find lasting solutions that work for both former BexarMet employees and customers."
For more information, please contact Julianna Gonzaba at (210) 923-0908.