LA Budget Chief Claims City Can’t Afford To Pay Raises

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The top budget official for Los Angeles says the city cannot afford to pay raises due to roughly 20,000 employees.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana sent a letter to members of the Coalition of L.A. City Unions Tuesday calling for the reopening of contract talks, citing a $220 million budget shortfall that looms in the fiscal year starting July 1. The letter was obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

He said that raises for coalition members would cost the city $105 million over the next two years.

“Funding of these salary increases in fiscal year 2012-13 alone may require laying off 200 to 250 full-time general fund employees, particularly since furloughs are not an option,” said Santana. According to The Times, he said he was acting on instructions from the city’s negotiating committee, which comprises Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and four council members.

David Sanders, regional director for the cities division of Service Employees International Union Local 721, told the Times that there is no way the union coalition would agree to re-open talks.

The coalition represents such employees as sanitation workers, custodians, librarians and park maintenance employees. Its members are scheduled to see salaries increase by 3.7 percent starting July 1.

  • The Mad Man

    Pay raises….? You have got to be kidding! I don’t care who is entitled to a pay raise, there should be a freeze and that is the end of that thought.I had a freeze on my SSDI for over two years, why should anyone else be entitled. THEY HAVE JOBS AND SHOULD BE LUCKY FOR THAT!

    • Joe

      “I had a freeze on my SSDI for over two years, why should anyone else be entitled”

      They should get raises because they work for a living. You are collecting SSDI while sitting on your butt. You don’t deserve a raise and probably don’t deserve SSDI.

      • The Mad Man

        Oh how I wish that were true.I have had 5 operations. I am still trying to learn how to walk again. It is a very mentally challenging and physically demanding task and if I could work, I would gladly do so. I still have some pride left but I am not willing to share my pay raise with anyone. With the money I get, I barely make my bills.
        Would you like to switch roles?

  • Sam Sindaha

    Of course you cant afford pay raises, unless you want a riot on your hands

  • Uh Yeah

    Huh, in another article today they state that 300 LA city workers working for the courts will be laid off to the tune of saving $300 million over several years…And now they don’t have money to fulfill their contracts and if they do they may have to cut 250 people?

    This sounds like a game of three-card monte to me.

    Bottom line, whether you think they should get raises or not is…How can the city not fulfill their contracts? Does this mean I don’t have to pay local taxes? I’ll just choose not to because it affects my budget negatively, sorry.

    The city of Los Angeles is broken and corrupt, the Feds need to step in and do a top-to-bottom audit. The city of Bell has NOTHING on L.A.

    • Finally

      The city does not have to fulfill their contract because the contract was a ponzi scheme to start with. General fund workers making 100 thousand a year? There is way to much corruption in Los Angeles to clean up.

    • Astonished

      Hey works for me. After all, the Chief of Police doesn’t have to obey State law, the Mayor doesn’t even obey moral law, so why not the rest of us?

  • Larry B.

    1. The County and not the City is laying off 300 Court workers. The Courts are operated by the County of Los Angeles.
    2. Maybe someone should question why these furloughs and layoff don’t apply to the Mayor’s staff. Not one of them is furloughed. Everyone in City of L.A. employ has had to “tighten their belts” aside from the Mayor’s office. Why are they so special? To a person, we are all grateful to have jobs here at the City. We are most fortunate. But when you see what goes on in “Teflon Tony’s” operation it becomes very disheartening.

    • Astonished

      Amen to that! Thanks to his “shared sacrifices” baloney some city workers’ earning have receded to a 10-year low. More work, less personnel. . .sooner or later, the City’s going to self-destruct.

      All except for the tiny tyrant and his favorites. They get to skate through with full paychecks, and they don’t even do anything to bring in money like those who were forced into his shared sacrafices scam.

  • Astonished

    Gee. isn’t this the same City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana who went on record in the Daily News stating that there was NO shortfall for this budget year? So all of the sudden just when it comes time for the City to honor it’s promise and obligations to the workers, NOW there’s a 23 million dollar deficit.

    So what happened to all that money? Oh yeah, that’s right the CIty’s tiny tyrant still gets to travel doesn’t he. . . . . . .

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