15,000 Pink Slips From City Hall on Friday

Mayor goes ahead with plan to "French" most City employees

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010  |  Updated 2:00 PM PDT
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15,000 Pink Slips From City Hall on Friday

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15,000 pink slips from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to city employees are not exactly belated valentines.

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On Friday, 15,000 of San Francisco's 24,000 city employees will be receiving pink slips from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

It's part of his controversial plan to then rehire many of them back, but for only 37.5 hours a week. Rehired employees would keep existing benefits such as vacation time and health insurance.

An unknown number of employees will be offered part-time work, or laid off entirely.

The city is facing another year of budget deficits. The plan is expected to save up to $100 million of a projected $522 million in defects, while costing rehired employees approximately nearly seven percent of their paycheck.

The 37.5-hour plan is reminiscent of France's failed experiment with a shorter work week earlier in this decade.

"Over half of our City budget is used for Employee salaries and benefits. While I take no pleasure in the fact, I cannot deliver a balanced budget without reorganizing the City workforce," read a letter sent to city employees from the mayor's office and signed by Newsom.

Public safety and Muni operators won't be affected by the layoffs. And, naturally, unions representing city employees are not pleased. An SEIU representative told the San Francisco Chronicle "cutting down the time doesn't eliminate the work," but Newsom was unsympathetic to those concerns.

While the Board of Supervisors likely would vote against the measure, they can't, though unions and employees could challenge them in court.

Jackson West figures after asking Muni riders to pay more for less, it's no surprise bosses want city workers to toil more for less.

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