Mayor Villaraigosa proposes cutbacks for city employees to avoid layoffs

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today said the city will have to lay off nearly 3,000 employees, unless those workers agree to forgo pay raises. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze says that’s not all the mayor wants from L.A.’s 40,000 city workers.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today said the city will have to lay off nearly 3,000 employees, unless those workers agree to forgo pay raises. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze says that’s not all the mayor wants from L.A.’s 40,000 city workers.

Frank Stoltze: The mayor also wants them to contribute 2 percent more of their paychecks to their retirement benefits. Right now most pay 6 percent. He’s also proposing that city workers – including police officers and firefighters – work for free one hour a week to help address a $530 million deficit.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: I’m reaching out to union leaders and asking them to come to the table and work together in the spirit of shared responsibility and shared sacrifice.

Bob Schoonover: I think we still have a long ways to go.

Stoltze: Bob Schoonover of the Service Employees International Union represents city mechanics, gardeners, and garbage collectors.

Schoonover: I think we’d like to concentrate a little more on efficiency improvements.

Stoltze: At the same time, Schoonover concedes that the city faces one of its worst-ever budget crises – and he says he remains open to the mayor’s proposals.

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