SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Under present civil service rules, layoffs of city workers in San Jose are based on seniority. But a city councilman is looking at changing the rules.

San Jose is facing the possibility of laying off hundreds of city employees because of a $90 million budget deficit.

Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio is proposing that cutbacks shouldn’t solely be based on seniority.

“What we’re seeing is that in certain departments, when we have to do layoffs and lay off the most junior people in seniority, some of them are actually top performers,” Oliverio said. “If we lose them, it’s a loss to the city. I’m saying we need a combination of both seniority as well as performance in that final selection.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

His proposal is not sitting well with the unions or some other members of the city council, like Ash Kalra.

“Putting it into practice would be like changing an entire system overnight,” Kalra said. “That’s why things like this need to be discussed before you just put ideas out there without knowing what the ramifications are.”

Oliverio is asking the San Jose Civil Service Commission to study the idea and come back with a recommendation in 90 days.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Zack Debarco says:

    As a union member & tax payer, I see all positions. I think that “peformance” does need to be considered. It requires close attention and attention to detail, something that most employers usually violate when attempting to get rid of a bad employee. I am not happy having to work with these slackers and outright
    crooks either. It could be a great idea to bring forth during these tought economic times; proove your worth keeping!!!

  2. Tom says:

    If any other reason other than seniority is used, then politics pervails. Stay with the system – if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

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