Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Monday asked the council to hold off on passing deficit-cutting measures for the city while L.A.'s chief administrative officer negotiates with city unions for concessions that could reduce the number of layoffs required to balance the budget.
Such layoffs, he warned, would trigger raises that were negotiated by the unions should workforce cuts take place: "I urge the Council to give the City Administrative Officer the chance to negotiate the cost-savings and reforms called for in the [Councilman Paul] Koretz, et al, proposal before moving forward with the layoffs and furloughs that will require the City to award substantial Cost of Living Adjustment increases to the remaining civilian workforce," Villaraigosa said in a statement released Monday afternoon.
Villaraigosa said he recognized the need for structural changes in the city's budget -- including pension reform -- in City Hall's effort to pare down a $585 million deficit due July 1. " ... We cannot do it without significant, structural cost-saving measures from our labor partners," he stated.
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Meanwhile the council voted in favor of Villaraigosa's proposal to maintain staffing at the Los Angeles Police Department, which makes up about 52 percent of the city's general fund budget and accounts for more $100,000-plus salaries than any other department.