HARTFORD —— Mayor Pedro Segarra said late Thursday afternoon that he has laid off 14 employees, mostly from middle management, and eliminated five vacant jobs in an effort to balance the city's 2012-13 budget.
The layoffs will save the city about $700,000, Segarra said. The average salary of the laid-off employees is $71,660, he said.
Two of the eliminated positions are assistants to the chief operating officer; one is an administrative clerk for the treasury; one is a payroll supervisor in the finance department; and one is a training position in the office of families, children, youth and recreation. The city stands to save $282,000 by cutting the vacant positions.
Segarra said he resorted to layoffs after several city unions refused to make concessions. As part of the budget adopted in May, the mayor was counting on $1 million in union concessions that haven't materialized.
"I had hoped to achieve this number through furlough days, but several unions rejected that offer and thus we find ourselves in the position that we are in today," Segarra said in a prepared statement Thursday.
"As I have said many times, I did not want to lay anyone off. While we have continued to make strategic investments in areas that will maximize grant opportunities, increase revenues or focus on the delivery of critical services like public works and public safety, I cannot ignore the fact that the city council unanimously adopted a budget that included $1 million dollars in employee concessions."
Those laid off are: Edison Silva, administrative operations manager for development services; Mary Collier, Segarra's executive assistant; Nitzaliz Gonzalez, administrative clerk for the corporation counsel's office; Miguel Matos, administrative operations manager for the office of the chief operating officer; Daryl Thames, a field representative for the office of families, children, youth and recreation; Edward Pajak, street maintenance section leader for the public works department; Jack Hale, administrative operations manager for the public works department; John Timm, superintendent of parks for the public works department; William Condon, parks services section leader for the public works department; Tom Larkum, equipment superintendent for the public works department; Robert Lacourse, a civil engineer for the public works department; Judith Dailey, confidential secretary for the health and human services department; Katherine Brooks, administrative analyst for the health and human services department; and Carmen Sanchez, confidential secretary for the health and human services department.
"Every layoff and position that is being eliminated was carefully analyzed to ensure that departmental operations and the delivery of services would remain the same if not improved," Segarra said. "With today's actions, we have taken a large step toward meeting my commitment of delivering a balanced budget."
In addition to the layoffs, Segarra has said, all nonunion classified and unclassified city employees — including police and fire command staff members — who make more than $45,000 per year would be required to take furlough days. He has not said how many furlough days the employees would be required to take.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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