Ten weeks into the new fiscal year, the LA City Council has spent the last five days — putting it $5 million in the red — trying to preserve its sweetened early retirement deal for city workers.
After two days of closed door meeting and behind-the-scenes negotiations, the Council came out in public and voted to rescind the early retirement and order layoffs and furloughs on Sept. 27. But Council President Eric Garcetti said they hoped to come back Friday and rescind that plan and approve an early retirement package.
The 7-minute public session, in all its confusion, speaks for itself. This video covers the meeting from start to finish, and contains everything you are allowed to know about decisions that will affect your job, your neighborhood, your life for years to come.
If there was any doubt where Garcetti stands, his joint statement issued last night with the Coalition of City Unions makes it clear that whatever deal emerges from these back room talks willl be in the best interests of the unions and not the city unless Councilman Bernard Parks can muster five votes or the mayor lives up to his veto pledge.
Here’s the joint statement followed by my favorite song from the heyday of the union movement — a song Garcetti and the Council, in the name of honesty and transparency, ought to play before every meeting.
Coalition and LA City Council Make Joint Pledge to Continue Working to Protect City Services
LA’s City Council Wednesday committed 13-0 to continue working with SEIU and the Coalition of LA City Unions toward a budget solution that will prevent slashed services through the layoffs and furloughs recommended by the Mayor’s new CAO Miguel Santana.
The outlines of a solution could come as early as Friday.Council President Eric Garcetti and the Coalition of LA City Unions released a joint statement:
After working around the clock in a marathon session of the Los Angeles City Council, which was recessed overnight to continue discussions with the Coalition of LA City Unions, significant common ground was reached to protect City services and to save jobs.
While no agreement has been reached as of now, both sides are optimistic that together solutions can be found.
“We are very grateful to the City Council for providing the leadership that this City needs to move forward,” said Cheryl Parisi, Chair of the Coalition of LA City Unions. “Today’s progress shows the power of working together as unions, and the importance of working in collaboration with our City leaders. We will continue to work around the clock over the next several days to finalize an agreement that keeps City services whole while keeping employees working.”
“We’ve worked around the clock to develop solutions to meet our budget gap while giving us the flexibility necessary in these tough economic times,” said L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti. “I want to acknowledge the Coalition Union leaders for their commitment to keeping this dialogue open and quickly moving towards a fiscally responsible agreement that will also save jobs and critical city services.”
In addition, both sides agreed to move forward with contingency plans in the event that agreement cannot be reached. However, both sides remain optimistic that a resolution can be reached before those plans will need to be implemented.