Most Santa Rosa government employees have been working without a contract since July 1 as negotiations drag on over whether they should get raises for the first time in years. ‘It’s moving slowly,’ acknowledged Human Resources Director Fran Elm.
Santa Rosa City Schools is examining the options of reinstating up to three classroom days to the current school year and returning the budgetary reserve to 3 percent in the wake of Proposition 30′s passage last week. Proposition 30 temporarily increases the state sales tax by a quarter-cent and income taxes on the wealthy by 1 to 3 percent, staving off what Gov. Jerry Brown said would have been $4.8 billion in cuts to K-12 education in the current school year.
The Santa Rosa City Council spent most of its energy Tuesday sparring over whether a pension deal with firefighters expected to save the city $59,000 next year went far enough. But less noticed that same evening was that virtually the entire non-public safety city workforce agreed to concessions that dwarfed the savings served up by the firefighters or their police brethren two weeks earlier.
Santa Rosa City Manager Kathy Millison hailed City Hall staffers Friday for their willingness to help the city ride out tough financial times with continuing employee givebacks in the 2012-13 fiscal year that promise about $2.2 million in new savings.
Public education needs more money. It needs to come from multiple sources. We need the state tax increase and quite possibly a local parcel tax.
The school year just got a little longer for Santa Rosa City Schools students and staffers. Sonoma County’s largest school district on Wednesday night voted to add a school day the week before Christmas, while tentatively approving adding two more instructional days in March and April.
Months after Santa Rosa City Hall began negotiating concessions with its 1,200 employees, it finished the task Tuesday. City employees agreed to a total of $3.9 million in concessions over what had been budgeted for this year. The final group: city attorneys, which agreed to a pay freeze, furloughs and changes in medical benefits.
Santa Rosa City Schools is considering adding at least one, and as many as three, instructional days to the current school year as officials await word on final state budget numbers. The moves are being made in anticipation of revised budget figures from Sacramento — numbers that could force the district to come back to the calendar and cut a day in May if anticipated revenues don’t show up in state coffers.
Santa Rosa and its middle managers have agreed to concessions that will save the city about $515,000 for the budget year starting Friday. The deal, approved by the city council Tuesday, allows for the 103 employees represented by the Santa Rosa Management Association to take furloughs equal to a week and a half of unpaid time off.