LONG BEACH, CA – The new city budget for Long Beach, California cuts 168 positions, including 75 in the police department, but actually protects against police layoffs. This is because of the distinction between “positions” and “jobs.” Most of the positions being eliminated are already vacant.
Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said that the labor agreement reached with the police union was key in helping with the city’s financial woes.
“I’m pleased to announce a tentative agreement with the Police Officers Association…We will be briefing the council on the details tonight (Tuesday)… I can say both sides agreed that we wanted sustainable pensions, and if it (the agreement) was mirrored by all the other bargaining units, we would be able to eliminate our deficit by 2013.
“This will protect the union against layoffs in 2012 … we have to make a distinction between cuts in position and attrition of current staff, though. The cuts in Mr. West’s budget would stand.”
Firefighters don’t fare as well. There is the proposal from the Fire Department to reduce staffing for nine fire engines from four firefighters to three, which would eliminate 27 firefighter jobs. The Long Beach Firefighters Association has distributed fliers saying that this proposal would endanger Long Beach residents.