GILROY, CA — Cash-strapped by the coronavirus crisis, the city of Gilroy has moved to lay off 10 employees after negotiations with a group representing employees collapsed, The Gilroy Dispatch reports.
Two additional vacant positions would not be filled if the plans go through according to the report.
The cuts would impact maintenance workers, a custodian, an accountant and the deputy city clerk, among others, the report said.
The employees are represented by the labor group American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 101 according to the report.
The city if facing an $8 million budget shortfall amid the coronavirus crisis as revenues from sales and hotel taxes have plummeted, the report said.
The city was able to avert layoffs with police and other city groups by eliminating pay hikes and instituting furloughs but was unable to reach a deal with the AFSCME Local 101 according to the report.
AFSCME Local 10 Union Representative Carol McEwan told The Dispatch the city wanted deep salary cuts of up to 10 percent.
“We understand the city is in a hard place,” McEwan said. “We want to work with them, but we can’t take the majority of the hits. The people cannot afford it.”
City Clerk Shawna Freels in July criticized the move to cut staff in a in a letter to the City Council obtained by The Dispatch noting that eliminating the deputy clerk position held by Suzanne Guzzetta would mean Freels is the city’s lone clerks office employee.
Her office fields public records requests, elections processes and other records management.
“This dramatic reduction in staff will make it unmanageable for me to fulfill my workload obligations as your City Clerk,” she wrote. “The proposed reduction of the single employee left supporting my office will bring staffing levels back 25 years, and has not been well thought out.”
Read more in The Gilroy Dispatch