LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Public employees will begin paying toward retiree health care after the City Council on Friday approved contract amendments for thousands of workers in exchange for an end to furloughs.

The vote, which comes after groups representing 13,000 city workers approved the deal earlier this week, also steps up pressure on the four other bargaining units to return to negotiations.

In exchange for employees paying 4 percent of their salaries into retiree health care and deferring three previously negotiated pay raises, the city promised to end furloughs for three years and guarantee to pay for those workers’ health care in retirement even as costs rise.

“This represents something very important for Los Angeles,” said City Council President Eric Garcetti. “It represents what other cities and states around the country have been unable to accomplish.”

The council also ordered its lead negotiator, Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, to give the four bargaining units who voted to oppose the new contract agreement one week to call for a new vote or to ask for specific changes to the agreement.

The units representing clerical workers, plant equipment engineers, deputy city attorneys and security personnel — represent 6,300 city workers and make up about 43 percent of the Coalition’s full time members.

Santana said he would send those units a letter today informing them of the deadline. He said he has not yet been asked by any of the four units for specific changes that might entice their members to vote for a contract agreement.

Meetings will begin next week to discuss whether or not the city would even be open to changes, Santana said.

Garcetti said that the council will move forward next week to freeze the city’s retirement medical subsidies for the units that voted “no.”

“On Tuesday I believe this body will take action on that and I encourage this body to stand strong to move forward on that so we do have a balanced budget,” Garcetti said.

Smith said unions that have not agreed to pay more into their pensions have until the end of May to vote to do so.

“If they report back to us in late May, we could go back in and fix the budget,” Smith said, adding that late votes would require another round of budget hearings. But he said they would be much simpler and faster and would save the city a lot of money.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (14)
  1. Tamara says:

    this article quotes someone named Smith, but who is that exactly?

    1. Jason says:

      I was wondering the same thing, I went back and read it twice looking for the mysterious “Smith”.

    2. Saber 1 says:

      Just go to work you lazy worthless city union members. The trades union are strong and some members abuse the system. Most union members(except teachers) are hard working people looking for the American dream. However, ILLEGAL ALIENS and the current Left wing Administration is turning it into the American Nightmare.

      1. Jason says:

        The reason us “lazy worthless city union members” voted NO is because we have already modified our contracts the past two years in exchange for promises from city hall of no furloughs. Yet before the ink has been dry both times, they have slapped us with furloughs (or in the second case, added additional furloughs). Why sign a contract that increases our pension contributions and gives other financial concessions in exchange for their “promise” of no new furloughs when they haven’t kept their word either of the last two years when we have given back? We’d rather just take the 36 unpaid days off then cut our paychecks and still have the furloughs looming over our heads when the mayor’s unrealistic revenue projections don’t come through. Please have a little consideration for your fellow citizens. Just because I work for the city, doesn’t mean I’m lazy and greedy. We just want a fair shake, which we have not gotten in the past when we tried to help.

        Cam – I know there is a councilman named Smith, but he wasn’t mentioned in the story previously, which is why it’s unclear that he is the “Smith” they are referring to. You’re probably right that it’s him though.

  2. Cam says:

    Smith is City Council member from Distric 12.

  3. Tamara says:

    @Cam, thanks. Didn’t know that!

  4. Big Union Dog says:

    Hey, Sabre 1, it’s sad your not smart enough to get a Civil Service job! How’s that burger flipping job coming along?

    1. Saber 1 says:

      I bring home 180 K a year, for forty hour weeks. I stayed in school, not waiting for someone to get me work and then file a grievance for having to wipe your own a$$.

      1. Big Union Dog says:


  5. Big Union Dog says:

    What’ the matter,,,,Is there a Pothole in front of your trailer Sabre1? I’ll call the Mayor for you and get that fixed right away! After all ,we can’t let you tax paying citizens drive on unsafe roads, you might driive into a pothole while on your iphone getting the world news and drinking that $5.00 starbucks! We’ll get that fixed right away!!!!lol

    1. Saber 1 says:

      Your mentality fails to surprise me. Should have listened to your parents, stay in school or you won’t amount to anything. See, they were right. My neighborhood is pristine and pothole free. See, the people who WORK FOR A LIVING get the services of the city, no potholes, no overhead wires and a guard at a gate keeping loosers like you out.

      1. Big Union Dog says:

        According to your statement then you live in a prison! Still living on somebody else’s dime! NICE! So what time do they serve that cold baloney sandwitch and warm milk, Your dad ,if you can find him, should have pulled out. Those who brag about what they have, have the least! Going to work now so i don.t end up like you. LOSER! LOL

      2. Saber 1 says:

        At Big Union Dog,
        My Father was a decorated Veteran. I my friend, work to provide for my family. You working on Sunday tells me your broke, I’m sitting here answering your comment. So tell me Dog, who is truly the LOSER?

  6. Saber 1 says:

    Uh, hello BIG MOUTH UNION PUPPY, where are you now? Probably sleeping or watching the clock so you can rush home to work. We all know you didn’t do squat today.

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