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Villaraigosa says all L.A. employees -- even police and firefighters -- should take pay cuts to help cut deficit

February 19, 2010 |  3:54 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Friday called on all city employees to take pay cuts, including police officers and firefighters, saying it would be the only substantive way to alleviate the need to slash 4,000 city jobs.

Villaraigosa also moved forward with plans to eliminate the departments of Environmental Services and Human Services, transferring their essential duties to other agencies and reaping $3.2 million in savings.

He warned that “there will be more" agencies cut as part of his upcoming 2010-11 budget.

The mayor’s actions come a day after the City Council voted to eliminate 3,000 jobs by July 1 to help close the city’s $212-million deficit and larger shortfalls forecast for the years ahead. Those jobs are in addition to the 1,000 positions already being cut, and the 2,400 city workers leaving through an early retirement program.

Villaraigosa said the total number of job cuts could be softened if city unions agree to make major salary concessions. He said a 5% pay cut among all city employees would save $150 million.

“Every employee, from the mayor on down ought to take a cut," Villaraigosa said. “And that means police, that means fire, that means sanitation, that means every single employee."

The council did not exempt police officers and firefighters from the new round of job cuts, but Villaraigosa said he would oppose any effort to shrink the police force.

--Phil Willon at Los Angeles City Hall