San Francisco Mayor Considers 'Frenching' City Workers

Cost-cutting measure would reduce work hours

By Jackson West
|  Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010  |  Updated 3:45 PM PDT
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San Francisco Mayor Considers 'Frenching' City Workers

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, left, has only actually frenched one former city employee that the public knows about.

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In an effort to take a bit of a project budget deficit next year of over half a billion dollars, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is considering mass layoffs of city employees.

However, most of those laid off would be rehired. But they would have new contracts that call for two and a half fewer hours a week, or 37.5 hours.

The plan sounds similar to one instituted in France for all businesses in an effort to reduce unemployment and improve the high quality of French life.

That policy has proven controversial, and clearly, so will this one.

Not on the table are cuts to hours for employees who might end up simply racking up more overtime, such as police and firefighters.

Newsom does not need to involve the Board of Supervisors, but he does need to clear the move with city unions.

The plan could save the city as much as $50 million overall.

Jackson West would love to have 37.5 hours of paying work in a week.

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