L.A. council backs pay cuts, furloughs for city workers as it declares a fiscal emergency

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Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield, pictured in 2015, said furloughs and buyouts will be “terrible” for the city. But he’s leaning toward approving them.(Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield, pictured in 2015, said furloughs and buyouts will be “terrible” for the city. But he’s leaning toward approving them.(Los Angeles Times)

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The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to seek furloughs for more than 15,000 city workers, despite warnings that the move would harm critical city services and push police officers out of patrol cars and into desk duties.

Council members approved a declaration of fiscal emergency, which helps clear the way for many civilian city employees to receive one unpaid day off every two weeks — a 10% pay cut. Councilman Mike Bonin cast the lone vote against the furloughs, saying they would force LAPD officers to pick up some of the work of their furloughed co-workers, reducing the number of neighborhood patrols and slowing police response times.

Bonin asked his colleagues to first instruct the city’s negotiators to start the process of meeting with the Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers, and present a proposal for delaying their scheduled raises and bonuses. That effort should begin before the furloughs go into effect, he said.

“There are some people who want more policing. There are some people who want less policing,” Bonin said. “But I don’t know that there’s anybody who wants us to be paying more to the LAPD for less policing.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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