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L.A.'s new budget, layoffs go into effect

July 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The city of Los Angeles' new budget goes into effect on Thursday and is supposed to trigger hundreds of layoffs of city employees to cut costs. However, the union representing many of those workers said it's still unclear who will be laid off and when.The union said it doesn't have a list of names of people that are being laid off, but still, the public will be affected.

Staffing reductions will change the public libraries hours beginning July 18. The Central Library and Branch Library will be closed on Sundays and Mondays. The city's childcare centers will also be impacted.

Up to 360 workers will get pink slips to save the city money, and 193 have reportedly already received notice.

Three city council members tried to spare those job cuts during a closed session on Wednesday, but a majority of the council decided to move ahead with the cuts.

The layoffs would save the city $24 million, but the coalition of L.A. city unions said the layoffs would trigger a nearly 6 percent pay raise under a union contract, which may end up costing the city $27 million.

Council members Janice Hahn, Richard Alarcon and Paul Koretz said the layoffs are fiscally irresponsible, but despite their opposition, the city's administrative officer said up to 1,000 more layoffs could be ordered by October 1, depending on the economy and projected revenues.

The budget also calls for 26 furlough days for workers who remain. The coalition of unions will challenge the furloughs in court.

"Those 26 days will amount to another 10 percent reduction in the city work force," said Bob Schoonover, SEIU president. "We'll be down way past 1997 levels now as far as staffing."

City officials said their money-saving moves are helping the city's bond rating, making it cheaper to borrow money.


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