Los Angeles’ innovative “targeted local hiring” program seeks to fill 5,000 city job positions, frozen or gutted during the 2008 recession, with potential employees from communities long excluded from a cumbersome civil service process.
The recently ratified agreement between the City of Los Angeles and the Coalition of LA City Unions, representing 20,000 City workers, is much more than a deal on wages and benefits. And the road to getting there included much more than a series of meetings with two sides passing proposals across a table. This process and resulting agreement reach far beyond the walls of City Hall and take significant steps to address the broad needs of all Angelenos and our neighborhoods, which have been suffering in the wake of the recession.
Los Angeles was not immune to the damage caused by Wall Street’s crashing of the economy. In an effort to stabilize the City budget, L.A. officials turned first and foremost to its workforce for cost-saving solutions. City workers stepped forward and made very real sacrifices, such as increasing worker pension contributions to the highest in the state; accepting more costly healthcare co-pays in order to lower healthcare costs;