The most difficult job for any employer is letting employees go. But sometimes, it can’t be avoided.

What it can be is a last resort, a move taken only after all other options had been exhausted.

According to Santa Clara City Manager Jennifer Sparacino, that’s precisely what happened in that town.

From the Santa Clara Community Newspaper:

Faced with multi-million dollar operating budget deficits for the foreseeable future, and elections safely behind them, Santa Clara’s City Council approved a last-resort layoff plan. The layoffs will affect those employee unions that don’t agree to the City’s request to accept a 5.15 percent salary cut and forego a scheduled raise next month.

“To put forward a layoff plan to the city is a heart-wrenching decision,” City Manager Jennifer Sparacino told the City Council at the Nov. 9 meeting. Sparacino herself has taken a voluntarily 10 percent pay cut. “But we’ve exhausted every fiscally responsible alternative. We’ve asked our employees for concessions. That is our last resort.”

Three of the bargaining groups – Miscellaneous Unclassified Management Employees (Unit 9), Unclassified Police Management Employees (Unit 9A), Unclassified Fire Management Employees (Unit 9B) – have agreed to the concessions. The City is continuing discussions with the other bargaining units, with apparently mixed results. “I haven’t felt that every bargaining unit has taken the same serious approach,” observed Mayor Pat Mahan.

Read the full article here.