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Video Parody Criticizing Miami-Dade Mayor Gimenez Hits Internet

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(CBS4)

(CBS4)

Destination Resorts Bill

MIAMI (CBS4) – A day before the Miami-Dade County Commission discusses health insurance for county workers, a new video criticizing the Miami-Dade mayor’s plan is getting thousands of views on YouTube.

A county employee posted it just a few days ago because, he says, county workers needed a voice in the budget battle that will either cost jobs or cost employees more of their paychecks.

In the video, two digital crash test dummies talk about working for Miami-Dade County. The dummy representing a county worker appears beaten and bruised.

“We’re sort of being beaten up,” the creator of the video told CBS4’s Gio Benitez.

He wants his identity hidden, so we’ll call him “Tom.”

Tom fears losing his county job over the video. He posted it on YouTube last week and nearly 7,000 people have watched.

“There’s a lot of illusion going on, and a lot of stuff that on paper, looks really good,” Tom said.

Tom is angry because Mayor Carlos Gimenez wants employees to contribute five percent more of their base pay to health insurance.

“It’s not five percent of my health insurance. It’s five percent of my paycheck,” said the crash test dummy in the video.

County employees already pay five percent, so if passed, employees would be contributing a combined ten percent of their base pay.

“And then this year, 320 hours of furlough time,” said the county worker.

“And you still pay for your insurance even though the County is being paid for it?” asked the female dummy.

“Yes, exactly,” replied the male dummy.

“Wow. You are definitely a dummy. You need to find another job,” said the female dummy.

The dummies point the finger at Mayor Gimenez.

“He really needs to know there are a lot of people who are going to be hurting,” said Tom.

Tom has been a county employee for nearly two decades and says this is enough to make him change careers.

The Mayor’s officer turned down an on-camera interview, but spokesperson Suzy Trutie sent a statement, which says, “While the County believes every individual is entitled to express their First Amendment right, the video has a number of inaccurate statements including how the health insurance fees are explained and the amounts represented.”

The mayor’s office also sent this list of what Trutie calls “inaccuracies:”

Video:

How much does the County spend on health insurance for you? They will not tell us.

County:

The Internal Services (Human Resources division) and Management and Budget departments have provided this information to the unions.

Video:

They are laying off dummies and hiring firefighters.

County:

At this time, the County is not hiring firefighters.  The Fire Rescue Department sent out correspondence to previous applicants to update their information currently on file.  This is a common human resources practice.

Video:

They (firefighters) hardly got any cuts.

County:

For the 1,988 IAFF (Fire and Rescue) members, the administration asked for $20.6 million in concessions.  For PBA’s (Police and Corrections) 5,405 members, the administration asked for $74.8 million in concessions.   For GSAF’s 4,574 members, the administration asked for $46.1 million in concessions.

Video:

Maybe you can be a department director. They’re all still working for the County and they make lots of money too.

County:

When the County reorganized in September 2011, it went from 42 departments to 25.  Titles and salaries are being evaluated, and salary ranges are being adjusted accordingly.

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