Well -- it's gonna happen.
Mayoral spokesman Tony Winnicker confirmed that "About 15,000 city employees in every department" will be receiving their 60-day layoff notices at the end of the week. The vast majority of them will be re-hired to 37.5-hour work weeks in a move the city feels could save it some $50 million. An unknown number of workers, however, will be laid off for good.
Winnicker sold the move as the best way to not disrupt city services and preserve jobs -- even if most workers will be working about half an hour less per day and earning around 6.25 percent less
. And while some unions told SF Weekly
that they were planning to "lawyer up" to protest what they saw as illegal tampering with their contracts, Winnicker said the City Attorney has come down on the mayor's side.
"Lots of unions have [Memorandums of Understanding] that we would have had to open up and they wouldn't do it," said Winnicker. "So we moved forward with this alternative." He still anticipated some legal battles following Friday's mass-dispersal of pink slips.
"We have to close the budget gap," said Winnicker. "The alternative is to lay off thousands and thousands of people."
City workers were greeted this afternoon by this letter penned by the mayor:
MGN Lay-Off Letter 3.2.10.pdf