L.A city employees agree to delay pay raises – to stave off layoffs and furloughs

Los Angeles city officials and unions representing more than 18,000 city employees have struck a deal on Tuesday, Jan. 12, that would delay a pay increases scheduled this year, to avoid layoffs and furloughs for the next five months.

The city faces a $675 million shortfall, amid a recession brought on by closures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. In response, city leaders weighed deep cuts, including hundreds of layoffs.

Tuesday’s agreement calls for postponing a pair of 2% raises scheduled for city employees represented by the Coalition of LA City Unions until June 2022.

The raises were set to take effect Jan. 31 and June 20 of this year, applying to several units including those that represent sanitation workers, street services workers, engineers, department of transportation employees, life guards, zoo workers, custodial and airport workers and civilian police department employees.

Bob Schoonover, president of SEIU 721, which represents 11,000 of the employees in the coalition, said that the tentative agreement to amend employee contracts will lead to savings for the city, “help protect vital public city services and ultimately eliminate layoffs and furloughs for our city workers this year.”

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The layoffs and furloughs would be delayed until the end of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. City employees would still need to vote on and ratify the raises before they can go into effect.

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Meanwhile, hundreds of layoffs are also being considered for sworn Los Angeles Police Department officers, who are scheduled to receive a 3.25% raise on Jan. 17.

While city leaders have called for police officer salary increases to be postponed, union representatives have argued that the police department had already taken a $150 million cut that affected overtime positions, while other city employees who have received raises had not made similar sacrifices.

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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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