Several city workers will lose their jobs Christmas Day.
By MARALINE KUBIK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CAMPBELL -- Layoff notices will be delivered to as many as 11 city employees by the middle of next week.
Mayor Jack Dill delivered the news Monday evening during a special meeting of city council's finance committee.
The layoffs must take effect by the last pay period in 2004 to prevent furloughed workers from being eligible for vacation time in 2005, the mayor explained. The city's work week begins Sunday and ends Saturday. Therefore, layoffs must go into effect by midnight Dec. 25.
Christmas Day is the last day of the final pay period. The following week will run into the new year.
Union contracts stipulate that workers be given 30 days' notice before a layoff takes effect, Dill continued, so the notices must be sent next week.
Exactly how many workers will be furloughed is yet to be determined, but, the mayor said, all departments whose salaries are paid out of the general fund will be affected. The bulk of the layoffs, he added, will come from the police and fire departments.
Asked for concessions
Last week, after voters turned down a new 5-mill operating levy, the city asked all employees for temporary concessions, including forfeiture of uniform allowances, two of 12 paid holidays and longevity pay to help trim $440,000 in projected overexpenditures from next year's budget.
Employees in the street and water departments agreed, Dill said. Firefighters agreed to all of the concessions except the elimination of minimum staffing requirements -- firefighters agreed to work hour-per-hour overtime at straight-time pay -- "but we didn't hear back from the police union, and we have to take that as a 'no,' they don't agree to the concessions," the mayor continued.
In all fairness, Dill said, "The police have cooperated with us all along. They let us use part-timers to avoid paying overtime." Ordinarily, when there are vacancies on the force, full-time officers must be hired to fill those positions before part-timers can be used, the mayor said.
There are three open positions, but the police agreed to allow the city to hire as many as five part-timers without filling those vacancies, Dill said.
With layoffs coming, he said, "that will not hold up."
Although he declined to speculate on why the police union would not agree to the concessions, Dill said that giving up their uniform allowance -- $850 per year after one year of service -- would be a hardship for officers who must buy everything from shirts to hats and holsters. Police officers are in full uniform every day, he said.
City council will receive a list of employees to be laid off by next Tuesday, the mayor said.