In the face of Santa Clara’s ongoing budget deficit, eight of Santa Clara’s employee bargaining units have agreed to contract concessions rather than layoffs, reported City Manager Jennifer Sparacino at the Jan. 25 City Council meeting. “It’s the first time in city’s history, I believe, that we’ve had to lay off,” she said.
The concessions include reductions in take-home pay – achieved through 96 hours of unpaid furloughs – and no raises this year and in 2012. The agreements will come to the City Council for final sign-off at the Feb. 8, 2011 meeting.
Two bargaining groups chose layoffs over concessions. The Public Safety Non-Sworn Employees Association voted not to accept concessions, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) declined to consider changes to its current MOU. Fifteen city positions were eliminated. However, after seniority bumping, the number of layoffs was only 10, according to City Manager Sparacino. The layoffs were effective January 16.
With the first furlough day on January 14, city residents are already sharing the pain. City libraries were closed over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday from Friday, January 14 through Tuesday, January 18.
Throughout the year, city offices, libraries and some recreation centers will be closed on scheduled furlough days, and the City’s website advises patrons to call ahead.
City staff will be on-call during furlough days to respond to emergencies and the furloughs aren’t expected to affect public safety, according to the City website: “The Fire Department and Police Department will continue to provide public safety services 24/7.”
City furlough days for 2011, as presently scheduled:
- Friday, February 18
- Friday, March 18
- Thursday, April 21
- Friday, May 27
- Friday, June 17
- Friday, July 1
- Friday, October 7