Villaraigosa To Call For Layoffs Of City Workers

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Thursday that he will call for layoffs of city workers as part of his budget next month, but wouldn’t specify how many would jobs would be slashed.

“We’re going to lay off a large number of employees. I’m not going to say how many,” Villaraigosa said during a speech to the City Administrative Officer Investors Conference at the Grammy Museum.

The city’s employee negotiating committee, which includes Villaraigosa and several City Council members, recently asked thousands of city workers to put off raises until the city’s budget improves.

In recent years, the city has laid off more than 200 city employees. Since 2008, another 4,900 workers retired early or were transferred to departments that manage their own budgets.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said this week the city’s budget deficit for the next fiscal year is close to $220 million. The city’s general fund budget, which pays for basic services, for the 2011-2012 fiscal year is $4.4 billion. It authorized the employment of 22,103 employees.

“It is just unconscionable,” said Cheryl Parisi, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 36, which represents about 9,000 civilian city workers.

City employees have given up nearly $847 million in wage and benefit concessions in recent years, Parisi said, “so we’re trying to figure out where have they spent our sacrifice. Why has the sacrifice of city workers not been managed in a responsible way? This is such a failure of leadership.”

Parisi urged Villaraigosa to enact the recommendations of the Commission on Revenue Efficiency before laying off city workers. The commission issued a list of recommendations Friday it said would generate or save more than $100 million.

The proposed budget, which is scheduled to be released April 20, also will call for the city to lease its parking garages, Villaraigosa told the audience. City Council members previously rejected plans to privatize city parking lots.

Villaraigosa said he will push to raise the retirement age for city workers to 67, vowing to put the issue before voters if approval of the City Council does not occur.

City Council Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Paul Krekorian acknowledged that city unions have made significant concessions in recent years.

“The idea that some out there say that unions haven’t done their part, that’s just clearly nonsense. They’ve had considerable pain,” Krekorian said. “But the reality we have to face is where our projected revenues are right now and what that allows us to spend.

“There’s going to have to be significant real reductions in employment costs as well as other solutions.”

Krekorian, who became chairman of the budget committee in January, said layoffs would certainly lead to reduced city services.

“I’m deeply concerned,” Krekorian said.  “I don’t think there’s any question that if we make further reductions in our workforce, the ability of the city to provide even a basic level of services is going to be severely constrained.”

The Budget and Finance Committee is expected to hold extensive hearings to discuss the proposed budget after it is released in April.

The city charter requires the City Council to amend or approve the budget by June 1.

(©2012 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.)

  • Tommy

    There is money for illegal aliens but the City of LA don’t have money for its working citizens. What does that tell you? Chop from the top!

    • raven

      Yeah, blame it on the Aliens. Is it because they’re green. “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”
      Abraham Lincoln

      • Everyday Guy

        Well, raven, you did prove yourself the fool.

    • Jonathon

      This Mayor a ” RAT ” and always will be one.

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  • spings

    “It is just unconscionable,” said Cheryl Parisi. Hey Cheryl here’s whats unconscionable, government tells us they have to pay well to attract the “best and the brightest” Concsidering that they are paid more then the private sector, and since they are the best and brightest can’t plan their own retirement like the rest of us ?

    • DisgustedinLA

      Your statement is incredibly dumb. Exactly where do you get your data to back up the statement that government workers are paid more than private sector. As a matter of fact, every single study done comparing the two shows government workers to be paid less than there counterparts in total compensation packages. You throw out ridiculous sensationalistic statements like that and just blindly claim it’s a fact. Grow up and stop blaming the workers for the sins of the mayor and city council. In case you hadn’t noticed, they are the ones who spend the money…..not the city workers.

      • frank carson

        disgusted,you need to do a lot more research,the public worker is paid far more then private sector,their pensions are like hitting the lottery.look at what the police,firemen make 200k is the new average.they retire at 50 with 200k plus and get another job,like the city council.look at the DWP 10,000 workers average pay 97,000 a year.the public workers hardly work and serve very little purpose they are way to many.look at the state they are at the bottom of everything,schools,police murdering innocent people,the roads.the public unions have made Calif a nightmare to live in.

      • Yo

        Hey, smartass – look at the numbers. You’re only looking at salary – government works receive benefits and pensions FAR beyond the average worker. So your comments are completely invalid. Its not the sins or the workers, or of the mayor and city council, but of the ignorance of all.

  • spings

    and since they are the best and brightest can’t THEY plan their own retirement

  • Ze Forte

    Oops, gotta sacrifice some more. Bend over overpaid union trash, the thugs in City Hall are going to give you what you’ve been deserving for a long time.

  • DeVille

    When they start being productive again and start producing something of “value” for the first time in their life, they can earn more money. How’s that for free market economics? The mother loving trough is runnin’ dry.

  • mr dude

    If you think about it. The city employees are cutting their own throats.. First we still millions of tax payers dollars worth of gas.. and now we get pink slips.. as a tax payer I think this works out even.. every gallon of gas should = 1 pink slip.. starting from the top dog and work your way down..

    • Corruption

      This is the devils world and he takes care of his people.

  • Marie

    You can be sure that, like many things in the city, this will not be done well. The people responsible for waste and excess will not be the ones losing their jobs. These layoffs are going to come from the lower rungs of the city’s workforce. They have already indirectly stated so in this article. Those “basic level city services” that they’re referring to aren’t provided by executives and upper management–they’ll’ be the ones passing out the pink slips. Also, keep in mind that the city will do layoffs in a way that will hurt the residents and not themselves. The mayor and council offices will remain fully staffed while other departments that actually provide services are gutted. How else will they find excuses to raise fees if their actions don’t inconvenience the public? Still, I think the unions should just go ahead and forego the raises. Why risk your job for money that you don’t even have yet? I’m sure you’ll get by without a raise, but good luck getting by without a job.

  • KeithS

    How about laying off our pathetic mayor? We have seen the Coliseum commission steal money and and now there is $7 million “missing” from the city coffers. Meanwhile, do-nothing-Antonio Villaraigosa is in China on our money lying about how that trip will bring jobs to Los Angeles. He seems to find it so simple to lay people off when it is his inaction that is partly to blame for the cuts.. Has he ever held himself accountable as part of the reason things haven’t worked in this city for several years now? This guy is not a mayor, he just plays one on TV.

  • FFL

    LA city and county have been owned and operated by uber liberal socialist democrats for DECADES and it is BROKE and is falling apart under Tony Villa La Raza and his illegal alien lover union thugs, gee what could possibly be wrong? DUHHHH? Continually electing and RE electing liberals gets the decay, corruption, and dysfunctionality you see, anymore questions or observations?
    Oh ya one more…..
    “Liberalism is the art of standing on your head and telling everyone around you that they’re upside-down.” — Jim Quinn –nuff said!

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  • CAB

    Hey Frank Carson, you get an “F” for math.

    Retirement formula for PERS and PARS member is annual salary (often a multi-year average) times years of service times 2.5% (some percentages slightly higher, some slightly lower).

    In order to get 100% of yor salary, you would have to work 40 years, or
    40 X 2.5%.

    So Frank, Mr. Fireman who retires at age 50 must have started with the department at age 10, yes TEN.

    You’re an idiot!!!

  • wobbles

    workers–who provide services to the actual citizens paying taxes get laid off, but Villara-loser still keeps his mayor’s mansion and ridiculously expensively overhauled city owned yaught. Anybody else see a problem with how this guy operates?

  • jon

    @keith S This guys not a mayor he only plays one on TV….. Classic!!!!!

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  • H Craig Bradley


    Lay off those overweight, overpaid, lazy L.A. City Park employees who look like overpaid “Homer Simpsons” out there ( taking the YELLOW city park dump truck home for lunch and a brew). No kidding?

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