State

Turlock employees take 5 percent cut

TURLOCK -- After taking a 5 percent pay cut last year, city employees agreed to another 5 percent this year.

The Turlock City Council on Tuesday night unanimously passed a budget amendment reflecting negotiations with employee unions.

"On June 22, you adopted the budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year and directed us to complete our negotiations with the assorted associations," City Manager Roy Wasden said.

"As we went through that process, we found every one of the associations, despite the fact they had no obligation to meet and confer, was willing to recognize the extraordinary hardships we're facing."

As part of the negotiations last year, the city agreed not to ask for further concessions until 2011. But the unions that represent employees offered to return to the table, Wasden said.

The pay cuts will reduce the city's deficit from $3.6 million to $2.7 million this fiscal year and prevented layoffs. Management also accepted pay cuts, and earlier this year the council voted to relinquish its health care benefit and send the $86,000 in savings to the recreational swim program.

"I'm appreciative to all the city employees," Councilwoman Mary Jackson said. "This was probably one of the most difficult things I've been through."

Wasden expressed his gratitude but said the cuts aren't over: "Lest anyone think we should be celebrating, we are still in deficit spending and we have more hard work to do."

Bee staff writer Patty Guerra can be reached at pguerra@modbee.com or 578-2343.

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