Friday, February 19, 2010

City Council orders 3000 more layoffs; SEIU members coming on down to City Hall on Wednesday

Thursday's special meeting of the L.A. City Council resulted in one very strange and unexpected decision. Some things did go pretty well, however. Recommendations for the Neighborhood Councils resulting from the hearing in the Education and Neighborhoods committee were followed to a large extent. There's more to determine before all issues of money are sorted out and finalized. Meanwhile, on the layoff numbers you now have a huge jump from 1,000 that Villaraigosa "ordered" last week to the new number from the City Council that was decided somewhere but I missed that part apparently in all the reports. A "backroom" decision? It's a possibility. Other than matters of a confidential nature, the Brown Act puts a lot of limits to what can even be discussed in private among the politicians making decisions.

"L.A. City Council orders 3,000 more job cuts - To help address the city's budget crisis -- and after the threat of a credit downgrade -- the council tells agencies to act by July 1. The move is on top of 1,000 cuts already in the works."
By Phil Willon and Maeve Reston, February 19, 2010, L.A. Times,,0,1667101.story Times staff writer David Zahniser contributed to this report.

So the SEIU, the union representing a big segment of city workers is not standing for this one, not one bit. And here's the reply in an open letter to SEIU 721 members at LA City from President Bob Schoonover:

"It's Time for Leadership, Not Layoff Threats from LA City," 9:19 PM - February 18, 2010. The letter is pretty brief and what will be happening Wednesday is a big show of opposition to what the Council has planned. This particular union is part of a union coalition that cut a deal with the City last year on terms and layoffs. No layoffs of their members can happen before July1st. In this deal, the City employed the usual bad approach that was as if the union's interests take precedent above the city's interest. So now the picture is worse for the city and the move to cut costs is apparently cutting 4,000 "positions." The city is into saving job and shuffling around people and the numbers don't actually mean "people" but they will not be able to shift all the workers to avoid layoffs with these big numbers.

So expect the city to cave in to the unions after the regular parade of people wear down the Council and the Council backs off as usual. It's just a prediction and it's based on observing the pattern that these Council members have followed for years. More to come. Meanwhile the city gets closer to a bankruptcy filing as they go deeper into the red by about $350,000 a day by failing to act because they have laid off no one.