Unfilled jobs slashed, OT cuts requested

Nearly three weeks after sounding the alarm bells about a $229 million budget shortfall next fiscal year, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced Monday that he was eliminating more than 1,600 unfilled city jobs and ordered departments to reduce overtime costs.

By way of an executive directive, Newsom canceled 1,679 unfilled city positions, saying it would “mitigate the effects of the looming $229 million deficit.

Newsom also issued a directive ordering the reduction of overtime. “Overtime costs for the current fiscal year are on track to exceed our budgeted allocations in many departments,” the directive said.

City departments were ordered to “immediately take steps to reduce overtime usage wherever possible” and use overtime only for “extraordinary circumstances which cannot be anticipated.” He also told departments to implement a number of measures to reduce overtime usage, including examining closer those employees who show an unusual pattern of calling in sick.

Newsom’s budget office announced the projected deficit last month, attributing the shortfall to a number of factors, including new hires, salary bumps and voter-mandated spending requirements. The deficit is projected despite city revenue growth and a strong local economy.

Newsom has already instructed city department heads to reduce spending and submit budget proposals to him by Feb. 1 identifying 13 percent cost reductions.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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