Santa Clara employees begin receiving layoff notices

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Santa Clara Assistant City Manager Ron Garratt admits that the city is in one of the most difficult budget situations in memory. (Photo: Erik Silk)

Some Santa Clara employees will begin receiving layoff notices this week, but there is still time to avert job losses, city officials say.

As part of a plan to cut spending and re-balance the budget, Santa Clara leaders offered each of the city’s 10 employee bargaining units a painful choice in November: either accept a 5.15 percent pay cut or 12 unpaid furlough days a year. The employees also were asked to give up a scheduled pay raise.

If the groups did not agree, the city warned, nearly 10 percent of municipal workers would be laid off.

Negotiations are going on in closed sessions. While declining to provide details, city officials said that some of the bargaining groups have accepted the terms. Others, however, have not agreed – and certain members of those bargaining units are being sent layoff notices.

The job cuts, if they happen, are not scheduled to take place until Jan. 8. The city is required by law to notify workers at least 30 days in advance.

City Council member Jamie McLeod said “it’s really traumatic for this to happen during the holiday season. This is a very difficult time for the city financially and our employees are our most important asset.”

“It’s my greatest hope that there will be no layoffs,” McLeod added.

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