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Mid-management agrees to reduce compensation $1.2M over 4 years
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Mid-management employees for the City of Manteca have agreed to cut their compensation by $1,280,000 over the next four years.

The Manteca City Council Thursday approved a four-year contract with the bargaining group that runs through June 30, 2015.

The $320,000 annual cut in overall compensation is on top of a strong likelihood of forgoing pay raises through mid-2015. The agreement – just like those reached so far with three others of the six municipal bargaining units – has language that revisits pay increases should certain revenue marks be reached. If the lackluster economy continues workers could very well go without pay increases. Should that happen, it would mark seven straight years that city workers have gone without a pay increase while at the same time having their compensation reduced by 19 to 23 percent.

In reality, any potential pay increase would actually be a partial salary restoration.

The city still has yet to come to sign agreements with Operating Engineers No. 3 or the Tech & Support Service unit. Both groups - just like other municipal bargaining units - have been given targeted goals of what needs to be cut in terms of overall compensation over the next four years.

The City Council has taken the position that bargaining units either meet those goals or else additional layoffs would occur within that specific group of workers.

When the city gets through, salary concessions plus other cutbacks will trim $4.2 million from spending for the current fiscal year that started July 1. That means the city will essentially be paying for municipal services with money they receive in a specific year.

In 2009 when Manteca started rethinking how to deliver services to reduce costs, the anticipated deficit for the 2011-12 fiscal year was projected at $14.1 million if Manteca didn’t change its spending patterns. Savings put in place by reducing employees and the remaining workers stepping up to find more ways to do their jobs more efficiently reduced the projected deficit at the start of this fiscal year to $4.2 million. Most of that deficit has been eliminated. The remaining two bargaining agreements will bridge the balance.

Besides reducing compensation by 19 to 23 percent per employee, the city’s overall staffing has been whittled back from 430 three years ago to 342 today.