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City of La Palma
7822 Walker Street
La Palma, CA 90623
Ph: (714) 690-3300
Fx: (714) 523-2141
-Why don’t employees just accept less in their compensation so that these service reductions are not needed?
All of La Palma’s employees have agreed to both pay and retirement concessions in the past several years. The negotiated concessions mean employees are not getting pay raises and are paying more towards their retirement. The City has three employee associations plus the unrepresented management team. All groups have three year agreements which were renegotiated in 2011 and expire on June 30, 2014. The agreements put into place in 2011, included no cost of living increases in the first two years of the contracts. The third year of the agreements tied any cost of living adjustments to specific revenue thresholds. That is, only if the City received a certain amount of revenue would employees receive cost of living adjustments. Furthermore, any changes to pay are capped and tied directly to the amount of revenue received. Additionally, employees agreed to phase in employee contributions towards retirement benefits and for all employees hired on or after July 1, 2011, a new lower retirement tier was created. As of July 2013, employees will have gone from not paying anything towards retirement benefits to paying the full 8% or 9% of their share (8% for non-safety and 9% for safety employees). This translated to an 8 to 9 percent reduction in take home pay over the three year period. Non-public safety employees also agreed to reductions in overtime starting in 2011. Management employees will also give up a wellness benefit in FY 2013-14 to help balance the budget.
The City will be doing labor market comparison studies in preparation for 2014 negotiations, and it is important for the City to stay competitive so that we can attract and retain the right person in the right job at the right time which allows us to maintain the level and quality of services La Palma residents have come to expect. It is also important that total compensation for employees is sustainable within the City’s ability to pay. These sometime difficult conversations will be especially important over the coming year.

FY2013-14 Budget Planning

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1. -Why has the City’s financial situation changed so much?
2. -Weren’t we ok financially before BP/Arco located to La Palma? Why can’t we just cut back to the level of employees and services we provided back then?
3. -Isn’t this a short term problem and once we start getting sales tax from Tesoro and other new businesses we will be financially healthy again?
4. -Doesn’t the City have significant reserves it can use instead of cutting services?
5. -Why don’t employees just accept less in their compensation so that these service reductions are not needed?
6. -I heard that the utility users’ tax was for services which are now being cut, but the tax is being retained. Why is this happening?
7. -Why is closing the funding gap all being done by reducing services to residents, can’t the City close the gap in other ways?
8. -I have heard the City is laying off dispatchers and police officers and contracting police with another agency. Shouldn’t public safety be our highest priority?
9. -How does contracting out services like police dispatch save money?
10. -What is the service impact of contracting out a service or function?
11. -If there is a financial issue, why are we spending money on capital projects instead of on staffing or services?
12. -Aren’t there ways to increase revenues that would save services?
13. -How can I be a part of the conversation on budgets and services?