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Oakland Issues 2,500 Pink Slips To City Employees

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Oakland City Hall. (CBS)

Oakland City Hall. (CBS)

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – The city of Oakland issued layoff notices Wednesday to 2,500 employees to cope with the state’s decision to eliminate redevelopment agencies statewide.

However, city officials estimate that only about 200 employees actually will be laid off.

City leaders said they are issuing the notices to most city employees so that the City Council has maximum flexibility in making job cuts.

Mayor Jean Quan and City Administrator Deanna Santana will present their recommendations for layoffs to the council at a special meeting on Jan. 25, and the council is scheduled to act on the recommendations on Jan. 31.

Sworn employees in the city’s police and fire departments are exempt from the layoffs under the terms of their contracts.

Santana said she had to issue the layoff notices in order to comply with the required 10-day notice for employees who could lose their jobs. The layoffs would be effective Feb. 3.

City leaders said Oakland’s budget had been balanced but that the loss of redevelopment funds creates a potential budget gap of $25 million to $30 million.

Santana said in a statement, “This entire situation is regrettable and is forcing us to act out of sequence, without the usual and necessary community and workforce engagement that typically accompanies budget decisions, especially decisions of this magnitude.”

She said, “I recognize the stress and anxiety that this places on the organization and our employees, who are our greatest asset, and who have made significant sacrifices to balance the budget nine times over the past three years.”

But Santana said the city must act in order to comply with a recent California Supreme Court ruling that upheld Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to eliminate redevelopment agencies.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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