The L.A. City Council approved a new contract with the city's Engineers and Architects Association, whose 5,000 members agreed to become the first city employees to share in the cost of their health care. The Weekly reported on the contract agreement with the engineers, including the new concessions, last month.

The contract approved today by the council requires members to contribute 5 percent of the cost of their monthly health care premiums. Doctor visit co-pays will increase from $10 to $20. Welcome to the real world, friends.

City fiscal head Miguel Santana said the deal would save the city $20 million this fiscal year, and $10 million every year thereafter. Currently, civilian city employees pay nothing for the basic Kaiser Permanente health care plan for themselves and their families.

The city agreed to reduce EAA furlough days from 26 to 10 this fiscal year. The furloughs had amounted to a 10 percent pay cut last year. The contract does not exempt any EAA members from possible layoffs.

The city is negotiating with other unions for similar concessions to prepare for a deficit expected to be at least $320 million next year.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.

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