City Workers Make LA Budget Better

Better-Budget-Imagex345.jpgThe LA City Council approved a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2013-14 and the mayor just signed it. The result is clear: Los Angeles is back on sound financial footing, and city workers helped it get there.
“We made this budget better. Going forward, LA needs to improve the budget development process by having city workers and all stakeholders at the table from the beginning.”

-Azar Nejad, LA Department of Transportation Engineer

A Better Budget
Here’s how SEIU 721 members and the Coalition of LA City Unions improved the budget:
Secured Pay Raises: Despite CAO Miguel Santana’s wishes, our raises are in the budget. This is because SEIU 721 members stood up for our contract. 
Maintained Healthcare Benefits: City workers’ healthcare costs won’t increase.
Made City Workers Partners: SEIU 721 members helped slow down a rush to move positions on July 1 from the Bureau of Engineering and LA DOT to the newly approved City Planning and Development Department. The budget requires six more months before any jobs can be reassigned, giving affected workers time to engage in a Joint Labor-Management process.
Won New Animal Shelter Jobs: After SEIU 721 members helped save overnight care at LA’s animal shelters, the City Council added 16 Animal Care Technicians and five Vet Tech jobs.
Restored Services: This year, the City Council budgeted to trim 40,000 trees and instructed the Bureau of Street Services to engage in a Joint Labor-Management process with city workers to restore jobs and services.
Held Banks Accountable:
Because of the tireless advocacy of SEIU 721 members and community allies, the budget creates jobs necessary to collect fines from banks that own blighted homes.
Expanded Library Hours: The budget gives city libraries the resources to open on Sundays once again.
Fought to Keep the LA Zoo Public: During budget hearings, city workers discovered that the CAO held secret negotiations with a private entity to contract out LA Zoo marketing. The Coalition of LA City Unions advised the city to study municipal marketing as a way to raise revenue. The Council agreed and is studying the option.
Download a flyer to post at your worksite.
Budget Documents
Here are some of the most important budget documents:
˖ Coalition of LA City Unions Budget Report
˖ CAO Response
˖ Coalition Reply to the CAO
˖ Other city budget documents
˖ Videos of the Coalition’s budget hearing presentation
For more information, call the SEIU 721 Member Connection: (877) 721-4YOU (4968).