Mayor Eric Garcetti and 10 of the city’s public employee unions have struck another deal to delay a furlough program, leaving workers with just one unpaid day off before the end of the year, the mayor’s press office confirmed Monday.
The City Council approved a plan last month to force more than 15,000 city workers to take one unpaid day off every two weeks, or a 10% pay cut , as part of a larger effort to balance the budget.
But, according to the Los Angeles Times, Garcetti and the city’s bargaining committee last week signed off on an alternative cost-cutting strategy that would eliminate all but one unpaid day off until at least January.
Under the new plan, a larger group of civilian workers would take a day off without pay on Nov. 3, which is Election Day, followed by a second unpaid day in April. Civilian employee unions also agreed to delay of a planned payment of unused sick time, which is normally given to workers in January.
In exchange, thousands of civilian city employees would receive a new floating holiday for the fiscal year that ends on June 30, according to the proposal.
The mayor’s office told The Times the deal, which is aimed at saving $21.4 million and still needs council approval, will give the city more time to determine if Congress will provide new financial help to cities reeling financially in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
By January, city officials also will know more about the municipal deficit.
Jack Humphreville, co-chairman of the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates, told The Times the deal is “fiscally irresponsible,” one that does little to address a shortfall ranging from $200 million to $400 million.
Neither Garcetti nor union leaders would characterize the two unpaid days as furloughs, describing them simply as days off without pay, according to The Times.
Mike Long, a spokesman for Service Employees International Union Local 721, drew a distinction between furloughs demanded by management and unpaid days off volunteered by workers.
Furloughs imposed by management are not permitted under the SEIU Local 721’s contract with the city, Long told the paper.