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L.A. City Council OKs more pay cuts to help offset budget shortfall

November 4, 2009 | 12:28 pm
Still facing a $100-million budget shortfall, the Los Angeles City Council has given the go-ahead to cut the pay of an additional 800 employees, imposing a 5% reduction for city workers who do not belong to a union.

Looking to save $2 million, the council agreed to take four hours of pay out of the 80-hour paychecks of department heads, policy analysts, human resources employees and aides to council members, according to a memo issued Monday by City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, the city’s top budget official.

The pay cut, which starts Dec. 6 and remains in effect through June 30, 2010, represents a half-furlough day per pay period. It is only the latest rollback for the city’s civilian employees.

Workers with the Coalition of L.A City Unions, which represents 22,000 employees, have already had their pay cut 4.4% through June 30. Employees of the Engineers and Architects Assn. have been told to take 26 unpaid days off over the course of a year.

The temporary pay cuts are part of a larger effort to slash payroll costs. Since Monday, roughly 1,500 city employees have applied for early retirement. Another 400 already planned to depart earlier this year.

Still, not everyone is facing cuts this year. The council voted behind closed doors last Friday to give employees of the Department of Water and Power a 3.25% cash bonus this year and raises of 2% to 4% each of the following four years. Those increases come back for a final vote later this month.

-- David Zahniser at L.A. City Hall