First Day Without Laid-off Employees for Local Governments

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, July 6, 2009

What’s it gonna be like without at least 700 laid off Sacramento County employees?
Hahn: “It’s gonna be very difficult.”
Paul Hahn runs the agency that provides services like parks and animal care to the unincorporated areas of the county.  In his department alone, he’s losing 50 to 60 workers.
Hahn: “We’re gonna continue to ask the remaining employees to do a very difficult job. We expect that they will. We’re not gonna be able to do all the things that we’ve always been able to do.  There’s gonna be delays in some service, cause we have substantially less people.”
The laid off workers’ officially lost their jobs Friday.  But Hahn says even now, the county is still trying to keep as many of them on staff as possible – even at the last minute.
Hahn: “It’s been rather chaotic.  We’re scrambling to see we can find a different revenue source to try and save that job.”
Sacramento County isn’t alone.  Yolo laid off 40 employees.  The city of Sacramento has let around 150 go.  But up in Placer County, it’s a different story entirely, says county administrator Tom Miller.
Miller: “We’ll have employees redirected to other areas of work, but we have no planned layoffs and we have balanced budget for next year.”
How in the world did Placer dodge the bullet?  By offering retirement incentives earlier than most other local governments.  By hanging onto its cash reserves for this new budget.  And by reaching agreements on labor concessions like furloughs with unions representing all but 200 of the county’s 2,300 employees.  Meanwhile, the unions representing the majority of workers at the city and county of Sacramento have not agreed to new deals.