AFSCME District Council 36

Los Angeles City Council vote on budget is major union victory!

The Los Angeles City Council on May 21 passed a $7.2 billion budget that protects both City workers and the vital services they provide to residents. The budget included ideas driven by the recommendations of the Coalition of LA City Unions, which includes AFSCME Council 36.

“This budget is a great victory for our city. It’s the perfect example of what can get accomplished when elected officials work alongside the workers who know this city better than anyone,” said Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU 721.
Mayor Villaraigosa had called for the elimination of hundreds of positions in his budget proposal. But recently, members of the Coalition of L.A. City Unions presented the City Budget and Finance Committee with recommendations outlining more than $100 million in potential savings and revenues. The budget approved on May 21 reflects the City Council’s collaborative process to avert layoffs.

“The Council restored vital city services. However, there’s still work to do,” Schoonover added, noting that the Council funded the targeted positions for six months. Yet Schoonover says he’s confident that by implementing the Coalition’s ideas more fully, the positions can all be restored on a full-time basis.

Alice Goff, President of AFSCME Local 3090, also applauded the Council’s budget, noting that nearly 200 of the positions slated for layoff are clerical positions mostly held by women of color. “The Council’s budget shows that the councilmembers care about empowering the women in our community,” Goff said.

Goff also pointed out that many of the targeted jobs were clerical positions in the Los Angeles Police Department, and that those jobs would have been filled by active duty officers. “Had these jobs been eliminated, we would have found more officers behind desks instead of patrolling the streets and protecting our neighborhoods,” Goff said.
Now that the City Council has passed the budget, it will go to the mayor for his signature.

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