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10 Somerville city workers laid off

Posted by Alix Roy  June 9, 2010 08:45 AM

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Ten employees of the City of Somerville received notice yesterday that their positions will be terminated at the end of the month in an effort to close the city's $8.1 million budget gap.

The Recreation and Library departments each had three positions cut but will maintain level services through “reorganization,” the city stated in a press release. Library hours will not be cut and recreational programs will not be reduced, the release confirmed. The remaining four positions were cut from the inspectional services, planning, and public works departments.

Eliminating the 10 positions will to save the city an estimated $371,494 for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

In addition, eight positions will be eliminated by way of attrition, meaning workers are either retiring or resigning voluntarily. The positions are spread across a number of  departments, which will use a “combination of outsourcing and restructuring to maintain services” despite the reduction, the city announced.

The savings from those positions will be around $623,238.

While lamenting the “very real human cost” behind the cuts, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said the eliminations were necessary to preserve services in a tough economy.
 
“We will not be closing schools and libraries. We will not be taking police officers off the streets. We will not be slashing services to the elderly or youth programs,” he said. “We have done our best to share the sacrifice among different departments in a fiscally responsible fashion while preserving our core community commitments and values.”

The city also has solicited quotes for school custodial services from state-approved vendors currently working with other cities and towns and will be meeting with bidders this week, officials announced. Curtatone has estimated the city could save $1.3 million by outsourcing school custodial positions. Currently, the city spends $3.3 to employee 49 custodians at its 10 schools.
 
The union representing Somerville school custodians, of which there are 49, has threatened legal action if the city moves ahead with outsourcing plans.

 

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