Layoffs Issued To City Workers, `In Case'

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Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson authorized issuing the notices Wednesday morning, citing contractual deadline with city unions calling for a two week notice of any impending layoffs.

Not telling 160 workers by today that they could `potentially' lose their positions would have meant keeping them on an additional pay cycle in January, which Jackson described as..

MAYOR FRANK JACKSON: "A financial hit that we could not really sustain."

Instead of layoffs, the mayor is offering its union workers the chance to save their jobs... by accepting pay cuts equal to 4.1% of their collective pay. Many of the city's 34 unions have already accepted the concessions. Jackson says 230 potential layoffs have already been averted. He believes allowing workers to choose, is the best option.

MAYOR FRANK JACKSON: "We've empowered the unions to make a determination if in fact they have their people laid off or if they keep their people working. We want the people to work. Not only is it good for our ability to deliver service, but we're concerned about the individual."

Unions can simply cut salaries of workers, or offer other types of concession to meet that dollar amount. The mayor said longevity bonuses or clothing allowances were forfeited by some, to keep their pay checks from shrinking by the full 4%.

Pay cuts have already been implemented for the city's non-unionized personnel.

Set to vote Wednesday on the reductions was the 1300 member Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, the largest of the unions.
Police `supervisors' on Tuesday rejected the offer, and six of their membership have been served with layoff notices.

The concession package as a whole covers about $14 Million of the $23 million dollar budget gap that the mayor says the city must close.

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