NLV Passes Budget Calling for Layoffs | News
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The North Las Vegas City Council has unanimously passes a $400 million budget that will include over 200 layoffs among police, fire and support staff.
"What I struggle with and what makes me the maddest is that those families are sitting home stressed out today about whether is their dad, is their mom, are they going to have a job?" North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck said. "I know that they lay awake at night as we lay awake at night worrying about their jobs."
In a statement, City Manager Tim Hacker said, "There is no question these are tough times and the last thing we want for anyone is a lost job or to reduce the current level of services and public safety for residents."
Tuesday's vote resolves a $33 million budget shortfall for the next fiscal year. North Las Vegas has been in similar straits the past four years largely because of declining property tax revenue. Finances are so bad, the state stepped in to help get the city back on track.
Council members say they asked the fire, police, and Teamsters unions to make concessions to avoid layoffs. None of them were willing to budge. After Tuesday's decision, Teamsters Union Local 14 had a change of heart and said it's willing to go back to the bargaining table.
"We're going to work with them, but were not going to just give away the house," said Teamsters Local 14 Vice President Steve Harney. "As you know over the last two years, we gave seventeen point five and fifteen point five (million dollars in concessions) and lost 358 employees. We're willing to sit down."
All three unions have been negotiating with the city since January, but the talks have not produced results. Council members say they're not asking for anybody to take a pay cut. Instead, the city asked for a two-year freeze on annual raises, employees to give up holiday benefits, and a moratorium on uniform allowances. Even though the final budget was approved Tuesday, the unions still have two weeks to make concessions and potentially save jobs.
Pink slips could go out as soon as June 1st. The new fiscal year begins in July. The city says the new budget allows them to provide adequate services at reasonable costs.