Friday, June 26, 2009

Surprise...City Council Pulls Magic Rabbit Out Of The Hat And DOESN'T HAVE TO FIRE ANYONE OR REDUCE SERVICES! (Except Unions Say They Will Challenge)

Council, union agree on plan that would save money without layoffs

The City Council and union representatives have agreed on a proposal that will save $500 million over two years without layoffs or major service reductions, the Mayor's Office has just announced. The City Council went into closed session this morning, to consider the agreement with its employees' unions aimed at averting layoffs and furloughs.

One day, MASSIVE crisis...next day, no firings/no problem. All is well! But...OOPS, still have to get the union members themselves to approve this: "If the deal is approved, union leaders will begin an information campaign to tell members about the terms of the renegotiated contract, and then hold a ratification vote." (Hope it's an effective education campaign.)

Before the council even cast its vote, a representative of another union said his members probably would file a court challenge to the early retirement proposal, a copy of which has not been released by city officials.

"The [plan] that they're proposing is not legal," said Bob Aquino, executive director of the Engineers and Architects Assn., which represents roughly 7,800 city workers and is not part of the coalition.

He accused the council of excluding some unions from its early retirement talks. And he warned that the council has not been provided with a legally required actuarial study that would spell out the long-term cost of the plan to the city's pension system, which is projected to consume an increasingly large share of the city budget over the next five years.

[65 cents of every dollar, to be more specific LA Times!]

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