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City Hall closed until Nov. 29
Furloughs help reduce municipal payroll by 3.8%
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Furloughs - critical to the City of Manteca’s strategy to avoid deficit spending in the weakened economy - means all non-essential municipal staff won’t be working for the next nine days.

City Hall personnel, parks and street crews, and recreation staff are talking four days off next week without pay in addition to the Thanksgiving holiday. Operations are closed today under the alternating Fridays off plan implemented to allow longer hours on days the public tends to access municipal departments - Monday through Thursday - as well as to meet a San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District edict for employers of 100 or more workers to reduce commute trips.

The Thanksgiving week furlough when coupled with the upcoming Dec. 23-31 closure will mean employees will be taking 10 days or two weeks off without pay. That translates into a 3.8 percent pay cut.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton said the thought was lumping them all together around the two big holidays would be less of an inconvenience for residents as well as work out better for workers instead of  spreading  furlough days throughout the year.

Essential services such as police and for protection will continue to operate 24/7. Work that must be performed such as refuse collection, water system oversight, and wastewater treatment plant operations also will be handled. The employees who do work will take their furlough days other times.

The furloughs and other measures put in place means Manteca has a balanced budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.

Since the vast majority of general fund expenses are employee payroll related, the city has also reduced costs by not replacing employees when they leave or retire and then shifting job duties to remaining personnel.

Employee groups - except for the police - agreed to release the city from the terms of a binding contract and gave up two negotiated annual pay raises in exchange for the city doing everything it could to avoid layoffs prior to July 1, 2010 As a result only one non-law enforcement officer in the city lost their job and that was in the community development department.

The police association opted to keep the previously agreed upon pay raises in place instead of assuring full funding for police salaries in 2009-10 and 2010-11. The result was the layoff of 12 officers in October of 2009.