LA city labor unions present ideas to save money, jobs

Hoping to avert layoffs, labor unions that represent Los Angeles city employees plan to present money-saving ideas for the city tomorrow. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze says union leaders are calling it an “efficiency summit.”

Hoping to avert layoffs, labor unions that represent Los Angeles city employees plan to present money-saving ideas for the city tomorrow. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze says union leaders are calling it an “efficiency summit.”

Frank Stoltze: Labor leaders say city workers will present dozens of ideas. Simboa Wright is a sewer and storm drain maintenance worker. He suggests that L.A. use Astroturf instead of grass at soccer fields to save on maintenance, and that more city employees would be willing to work three 12 hour days a week.

Simboa Wright: The detention officers at LAPD right now have a three-twelve, and it saves LAPD $2.5 million a year. So imagine what that could do if it was citywide.

Stoltze: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says that the city faces a projected $530 million budget deficit – and that city workers will have to give up pay raises, contribute more to their pension fund, and even work for free one hour a week to prevent layoffs. Wright says, not so fast.

Wright: We’re just not there yet. That’s exactly why we’re having this efficiency summit, so we can all work together.

Stoltze: The mayor formally presents his budget plan on April 20th.

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