I am curious after reading Pam Silva’s letter (“Give government employees average wages,” April 15) exactly which government employees she referred to. I know that the office technicians, janitors, and the dining-room employees at Atascadero State Hospital would be very glad to take home $35,000 a year. Most of them barely made $20,000 and had their wages cut by 15 percent. They all had to take tests and go through background checks, so they could work next to some of the most violent offenders in the state. There are no cells. There is no guarantee that they will make it home. Then there are the psychiatric technicians who go through an even more rigorous background check, school, and take state board tests.
Maybe Silva would like to talk to a wildly psychotic 280-pound man who thinks she killed his baby sister. The ASH staff on the floors work about 60 hours a week and they make about $35,000 each. Maybe she could be the first responder after someone gets shanked.