La Puente employees to take furloughs

All La Puente city employees are being forced to take two furlough days a month over the next year in an effort to offset growing revenue losses.

The furloughs — which will amount to a 10 percent annual wage cut — were approved last week and are effective immediately for the city’s roughly 30 part-time and full-time employees.

They will also lose their 3 percent cost of living increase for this fiscal year, which began July 1 and ends June 30.

City officials said while they understand the economic impacts of such a wage reduction to its employees, they also are doing what they can to weather an economic downturn that’s ravaged city revenues.

Officials initially planned to implement 15 percent pay cuts across the board for its employees. But after negotiations with the union, they came back with the furlough option.

The union countered with its own concessions — they agreed to accept the twice-a-month furloughs, but asked the city only forego employees’ cost of living increases for six months.

Jason Elias, a lead work site organizer for Local 721, said the city would have only needed to save $28,000 to give employees a 3 percent raise for the last six months of the fiscal year.

“If by November, we couldn’t find that $28,000 then would have agreed to forego our raise for the rest of the year,” Elias said. “But they wouldn’t budge on their negotiations. They weren’t willing to work with the employees.”

Mayor Louie Lujan said he would have liked to go with the union’s option, but he lacked enough council support.

“What they were asking for was not unreasonable,” Lujan said.

In order to implement the current furloughs, City Hall will be closed every Friday versus on alternating Fridays.

Employees at the city’s maintenance yard, the senior center, the community center and the youth activities learning center will alternate their furloughs on Mondays and Fridays so that those facilities can stay open five days a week.

Councilwoman Lola Storing said while the union may not be happy with the city’s final decision, the employees are.

Elias said the employees are willing to make sacrifices, but “nobody is happy.” He also pointed to interim City Manager Frank Tripepi’s unwillingness to negotiate with the union.

  • Former LP empolyee

    This could not happen to a nicer group of employees

  • anon

    What Lola should be doing is cleaning up her dirty city. It is full of gang violence and a dangerous place. She is nothing more than a draconian vampire.

  • 55 year resident

    La puente should have more city people like Lola Storing. She is out in the streets and knows exactly what’s going on. She has dedicated many years to the City. This city would be in real trouble without her.

  • 56 year resident

    Lola Storing is a joke just like her good for nothing husband was. She cant even remember what she is voting on half the time and is always late for meetings.

  • Long time resident of La Puente

    What is this with all the attacks on Lola Storing? Are the dirty city people afraid of her??? She is one of the last good guys on the council. Lola Storing is extremely accessible day or night for anyone. As far as her being a vampire, more power to her. How rude to talk ill of her late husband. That was really in bad taste. People should get their facts straight before they shoot off their mouths. Lola Storing has never been late to meetings and only absent due to illness or emergencies. Lola Storing has a great memory. It seems it must intimidate people.

  • Longer time resident of LP

    Lola Storing is a joke. Did you know that she is on medication for Alzheimers? Poor lady.

    Government is not the place for her. She is too old now. I am very old myself and can relate to her, I feel very bad for her but she must go.

  • anon

    Lola is not on medication. Instead, she is a drunk just like her husband. According to ghetto legend, the Storings used to hang out at the Playboy Lounge on Nelson and Orange for drinks. As legend has it, her husband once wrapped his car around a telephone pole while driving home drunk. The “dirty city people” are not afraid of her at all. After all, the city is dirty and nasty.

  • anon

    Lola is not on medication. Instead, she is a drunk just like her husband. According to ghetto legend, the Storings used to hang out at the Playboy Lounge on Nelson and Orange for drinks. As legend has it, her husband once wrapped his car around a telephone pole while driving home drunk. The “dirty city people” are not afraid of her at all. After all, the city is dirty and nasty.

  • anon

    Lola is not a “good guy” at all. People do have their facts straight when they shoot their mouths off. Why more power to a vampire? I think you should learn how to rationally articulate your thoughts in writing instead of writing garbage.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, Lola Storing and her husband used to go to the Playboy lounge. This is when her husband decided to leave her for that Filipina hottie.

  • anon

    Lola is toast. With the alcohol and medication is full affect, she must do what is best for the city. With Lugan in trouble again and Lola losing her mind, the best case scenario is for them to step down. Then the next best case scenario is for that pompous wannabe politician, Dan Holloway, to step down. That guy still believes eugenics is a science.