Archive for Letters to Editor

Roy’s Letter to LA Times on our raises

A funny thing happened on the way to the LA Times. In response to reporter David Zahnister’s recent article criticizing our 5.5% raise due in 2014, Roy sent the really great letter below. The Times printed it….but cut out quite a bit. Evidently, Roy should not be “deeply disheartened” at the article; he can only be “disturbed.” He’s also prevented from pointing out that City Workers do not collect social security and that our average retirement salary is 32K.

Anyway, Roy’s original letter is directly below. The Times published rendition immediately follows in red font.

Dear Editors,

Re: David Zahniser’s article 1/1/14, LA city employees receive last in a costly series of raises

As a dedicated 30-plus-year librarian with the City of LA, I was deeply disheartened to read David Zahniser’s misleading LA Times article on 1/1/14, “LA city employees receive last in a costly series of raises.” The article portrays us as unreasonable city workers who are getting rich with these long-overdue raises. In fact, the opposite is true. City workers have come together repeatedly during the past five years – voluntarily opening up the contract not once, but twice, to work in good faith with city officials to relinquish $850 million in wages and benefits to assist the city in time of financial crisis. We helped the city reduce its workforce by 5,000 positions, took unpaid furlough days, deferred cost of living increases for more than two years, froze wages and voted voluntarily to pay an additional 5% for our pension costs (for a total of 11%), among the highest percentage in the state.

Remember, we don’t receive social security and our average retirement benefits are less than $32,000 a year. Hardly a prince’s ransom.

As we go into the new year, with the city’s economy finally rebounding, and reserves at an all-time high, it is disingenuous to see the LA Times and CAO Santana painting this raise as anything more than a fair raise and cost of living increase to overworked employees who have sacrificed much over the past five years to continue providing excellent service to the residents of LA.

Sincerely,

Roy Stone, Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library

Re “City workers get last raise in ’07 deal,” Jan. 2
As a dedicated 30-plus-year librarian with the city of Los Angeles, I was disturbed by this article’s implication that city workers are getting rich with these long-overdue raises.

In fact, city workers have come together repeatedly during the past five years, twice opening up our contract and working in good faith with officials to relinquish $850 million in wages and benefits to assist the city in time of financial crisis.

We helped the city reduce its workforce by 5,000 positions, took unpaid furlough days, deferred cost-of-living increases, froze wages and voted to pay more toward our pension.

With the city’s economy finally rebounding, it is wrong to portray this raise as anything more than fair to overworked employees who have sacrificed much over the past five years to continue providing excellent services to the residents of L.A.

Roy Stone, Los Angeles