Thursday, April 28, 2011

Four Unions Discover Los Angeles is Broke

We had a feeling this was coming. On Wednesday, a group of four unions representing 6,300 full-time city employees (including 911 operators, traffic cops, airport security officers, deputy city attorneys, and clerical workers) rejected a labor contract that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had negotiated with the Coalition of L.A. City Unions. If you haven't been following this story, Villaraigosa and the Coalition had agreed to contracts that cut workers' pay, with the understanding that the cuts would mean an end to unpaid furlough days and preserve health care benefits. Fourteen other unions, including those representing librarians, garbagemen, zookeepers, and landscapers, approved the deals. In the backdrop, of course, is L.A.'s projected deficit of roughly $438 million.

Why?! Why ?! Why?!!!

The deal is expected to save the city some $200 million. As for the workers in the four unions that rejected it? On the same day they turned down the deal, Villaraigosa ordered their managers to impose 42 unpaid furlough days on them in the next fiscal year. Yikes! Isn't that like losing 8 weeks' worth of salary? Then again, maybe that's what happens when you trust the government to take care of your interests at the expense of others. Particularly when the government in question has unionized landscapers and librarians it has to take care of too.


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