I hope everyone is making it through what is unquestionably the hardest summer on record. And for those of you with school-age kids, I know you’re girding for what will surely be the toughest school year on record.
I have mixed emotions sending this email, because I know that it offers no relief from the stress we’re all feeling, and it doesn’t provide any further certainty about what will happen with our salaries for the balance of this fiscal year. But I firmly believe that the more you know, the easier it is to manage these circumstances, and there’s no point in sugar-coating anything, so here goes:
The number of SIP applicants fell short by 23. At the end of the rescission window, the CAO had 1277 employees on the list of eligible applicants, and the EERC did not vote to move forward with the SIP at this time. There is funding to avoid furloughs at least through the end of August, but there are no guarantees beyond that. I believe that even if EERC had ok’d going forward, the projected savings wouldn’t have been enough for EERC to abandon furloughs for the balance of the fiscal year.
As before, if nothing changes, the City would impose furloughs but honor the remaining terms of our MOU so everyone would still receive COLAs, steps, service recognition bonuses, and Professional Development Reimbursements. We would push hard on the office to ensure that furloughs are implemented fairly and consistently, as Leela has promised,and do everything in our power to get employees a full furlough day and comp time for excess hours worked past 72.
EERC held out the possibility that the SIP could still go forward if additional, “sufficient” savings can be identified by the labor groups representing employees who would otherwise be furloughed. Since the EERC meets in closed session, we don’t have any further guidance on that beyond what the CAO represents to us. As of this writing, you know what I know.The next EERC meeting will be held 8/25 or 26, so we have about two weeks to figure out solutions that the CAO might accept. I am working with our brethren in the Coalition and EAA to develop workable proposals to this end, but those conversations are just beginning. I agree that the City’s approach to furloughs is arbitrary and unfair, but we are where we are.
I continue to believe it is too soon to despair, and even if the worst happens, the City is not talking layoffs or additional furloughs beyond the 10% that was baked into the FY20-21 budget. Again, I’m sorry that I can’t provide more certainty or clarity around where things are headed, but please take solace in the fact that your union is fighting with allits strength to support and defend you. We will make every effort to limit the economic impact on you all as the City struggles through these challenging times.
As always, I welcome your input and insights, so let me know if there’s anything you think I should know. Stay strong,stay healthy, and stay safe.