After a long Budget and Finance committee meeting where nearly every union leader in the city paid a visit to speak before the committee the Coalition of LA City Unions principals made their way up to the Office of the CAO in response to his Letter Dated March 06, 2012 in which he stated in part
“ It is now evident that employment cost delay strategies are not viable solutions to the City’s longterm fiscal and public service sustainability as the City is facing deficits in Fiscal Year 2012-13 of approximately $220 million and $340 million in Fiscal Year 2013-14. These deficits are driven, in part, by the more than $105 million in salary increases due over the next two fiscal year to members of bargaining units which are part of the Coalition of Los Angeles City Unions. Funding of these salary increases in Fiscal Year 2012-13 alone may require laying off 200 to 250 full-time General Fund employees, particularly since furloughs are not an option. At this point, mutually agreeable structural reform of the City’s salary rates, salary structure, and pension and healthcare benefits will be necessary for the parties to fulfill their mutual commitment to L.A.’s future. In accordance with instructions from the Executive Employee Relations Committee, and consistent with the Letter of Agreement between the City and AFSCME, we have scheduled March 20, 2012, at 9:15 a.m. for the initial meeting with you to identify the implications of the revenue loss, alternatives to address the loss, and viable solutions within the control of the parties. This meeting will take place in Conference Room A, City Hall East, Room 1200.”
We were asked to participate in this exchange sitting next to all to familiar faces in an all to familiar setting. Julie butcher made an appearance, bringing an unusual approach to the meeting as she stayed for a few minutes and due to previous commitments quickly departed and on her way out making it clear that her answer to this request was a firm “no” and emphasizing “We’re all NO’s”.
AFSCME 3090 left before the meeting started after hearing it was to be rescheduled leaving Cheryl Parisi to represent all AFSCME members, I commend her on biting her tongue as she was clearly upset and disappointed in returning to the table after the many years of concessions members have made making clear her disappointment. Cheryl engaged the CAO the longest after 777 member Bruce Francis nailed the CAO on revenue issues and the lack of creativity displayed by the Office of the CAO.
Every member of the Coalition present when polled stated their units were NOT Open to bargaining and a debate ensued over re-opener language within the contract, Paul Castro the LA City Workers.com Representative made clear this was in no way a bargaining session and no impasse procedures could be sought upon the membership from this meeting, he also asked the CAO about the multiple reserve funds, and the local return of CRA Funding previously directed towards the now defunct agency Mr. Santana stated “you will see the amount in the budget”. What the heads of the coalition of city unions did not have to wait to see were his current demands from the membership which ran into the hundreds of millions in concessions. Topping the list is nothing new to LACityworkers.com members the famous 10% Health care contribution which we warned members about nearly 3 years ago. Significant threats of Layoffs were guaranteed and regardless of the amount of concessions made the City of LA will have fewer employees in the 2012-2013 budget year. Looking forward to Wednesday the Coalition of LA City Unions did their part in presenting the members will in taking layoffs vs making further concessions, not one union was open to the idea, and Building and Trades response was best in a firm “Hell NO”.
LA City Union Members Participation Now Mandatory.
Members have been clear in demanding we end concessions, no one has worked harder at this goal then LA City workers.com, it is now up to the members to back up their demands. We must begin acting like a union, we must have our brothers back. Attending select rally’s, ending working above classification until such time that members work in those classification is credited towards the deficit, refusing all overtime under compensated time off, and preparing for inevitable job actions.
Unlike previous years when members were encouraged to work within the system and they took hit after hit, lacityworkers.com has been encouraged to lead the membership in job actions. We are well in tune with the membership who will be most critical to demonstrating the immediate and drastic impact layoffs and cutbacks will make to the city, we have warned the public the services they are accustomed to will be drastically reduced while the taxes they pay continue to rise.
It is finally time to work with the public at making the Mayor answer for his failings, to see the impact this budget and those over the last few years have had on the ability to provide service, and to force a change by concerted efforts directed at the city political leaders.
This will be a wild budget year unlike previous years the Unions are unwilling to concede but that will only last if the membership participates in the actions described above. I am not calling on those who disapprove of their unions to simply forget the things that they have done, but I am calling on them to work with US in making this change because we can not back down. Without member participation we will take a significant painful round of cuts both in the amount of workers laid off and in the amount of money that comes out of our checks, That is a Promise! Without participation, our unions will not be able to stand strong and will be forced to cave in.
If you are tired of the cut’s your only course of action is involvement, we are vital to the future of Los Angeles, we need to remind the elected officials of just how vital we are. While you may see EAA Leaders preaching to the members about how much better their deal is then the alternatives we stand ready to fight. Michael Davies stood by the Mayor the last budget year claiming Health Care was something his members needed to pay for, Coalition members can only avoid that by partipation.
Mayors Budget Presentation LA Labors First Test
When Mayor Villaraigosa reveals his budget this Wednesday April 18th, members of the Coalition of City Unions are asked to show up in mass the same way the Department of Water and Power does at 3:30 PM Paramount Studious 5555 Melrose Avenue Hollywood , CA 90038