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Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Las Vegas City Jobs at Center of Debate

The future of many Las Vegas city jobs is currently in question.

The Las Vegas City Council is currently struggling with the task of bridging an $80 million revenue shortfall in the city's 2011 budget. In March, the Council approved a tentative budget that would cut 141 city employees, as well as eliminate and decrease some services.

Mayor Oscar Goodman and the Council have been working since that time to convince the city's four unions to make concessions and help balance the budget, in part by taking an 8 percent pay cut this year and next, and by consenting to a freeze on cost of living increases.

Those efforts have so far fallen short, however, as the unions and city officials have yet to come to an agreement. One economist has told the city that making layoffs will only contribute to the economic problem, as will failing to implement freezes on living allowances and pay increases.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Jeremy Aguero, a principal analyst with Applied Analysis, recently told the Council that laying off employees and allowing wages and benefits to increase would result in the "worst-case scenario."

"Unless our employees who are members of these collective bargaining units come to the table and recognize what we've heard this morning and accept it as the truth and change their mindset, we are at a loss of doing anything other than laying people off," Goodman responded.

"Because unless they're ready to open up their contracts, unless they're ready to make the concessions, which apparently are necessary - maybe necessary evils, but necessary - then we have no alternative but to lay people off," he continued. "And that, once again, as you say, contributes to the problem. That's where our dilemma is."


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