AirTalk for March 25, 2011

Los Angeles city officials announce landmark union deal with city workers

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa speaks onstage at the Public Counsel's William O. Douglas Award Dinner on March 18, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.

Over 19,000 Los Angeles city workers woke up this morning to learn that a new health and pension deal had been struck between unions and the city. The tentative agreement announced yesterday by Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilman Eric Garcetti and other city officials, calls for employees to contribute more to health care benefits and for an end to furloughs for most workers covered. The three year pact is being touted as a landmark deal that will save the city $400-million and impact about half of L.A.'s municipal workers. The plan does not include cops and fire fighters, but the Mayor hopes it will be a template for future negotiations. The deal still needs to be ratified by union stakeholders. Will they sign on? Or might union members balk at the increase in contributions? In the first year, the deal would only save the city $69-million, which is still far short of the city's projected $350-million debt -- should workers be giving more?

Guest:

Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles

Frank Stoltze, KPCC reporter

Bob Schoonover, SEIU Local 721 President and heavy duty equipment mechanic


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