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Mayor to Employees: Let's Work Together or have 2,800 Layoffs

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Facing a $530-million shortfall in the 2009-10 budget year, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa yesterday announced that city employees across the board need to take cuts or face massive layoffs. His yet-to-be-released budget proposal is said to possibly include privatizing the Los Angeles Convention Center and Los Angeles Zoo (we also hear wiping out Cultural Affairs). Some unions are pushing for early retirement, but the mayor wants to cut costs without dramatically affecting city services. The LA Times agreed with him in an editorial today: "In discussing his budget plans, Villaraigosa made clear that he is not stuck on any particular proposal so much as on the idea that dispersed sacrifices are better than concentrated pain. That's a humane and sensible approach that city employee unions would be wise to embrace."