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Can Villaraigosa Furlough L.A. City Workers? In a Word, No

Today the mayor announced a plan to furlough non-public safety employees two days a week, starting next Monday, in order to prevent the city from running out of cash.

Sounds impressive, but it won't happen. Under the contract with the Coalition of L.A. City Unions, the mayor has no authority to furlough workers until July 1, 2011. (The coalition covers about 22,000 employees -- the vast majority of non public-safety employees.)

Asked about this after the press conference, Deputy Mayor Matt Szabo said that the mayor's office is still formulating its plan and will have to confer with the unions before implementing it.

Given that it took 14 months to negotiate the last union agreement, it seems unlikely, to put it mildly, that such a major amendment could be negotiated by next Monday.

So why make idle threats?


Maybe it sounds good on TV, but it doesn't get the city any closer to resolving the standoff over DWP rate hikes.