LOS ANGELES, July 1 (Xinhua) -- An austerity budget implemented by the city of Los Angeles is expected to force hundreds of employees to lose their jobs and lead to furloughs for thousands more, authorities said on Thursday.
The city began to implement the budget on Thursday after a last- minute attempt to forestall the layoffs and furloughs for three months failed a day earlier.
The budget, passed by the City Council and signed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, called for laying off up to 761 employees starting July 1 to save approximately 57 million dollars, if unions do not make enough concessions to shrink the payroll.
Of the employees slated for layoffs that began on Thursday, at least 100 are library staffers, 70 are childcare workers, 30 are recreation coordinators and park rangers, and several more are clerk/typists.
This will result in libraries operating five days a week instead of the usual six. Childcare centers whose operations are almost entirely subsidized by the city would be closed or see a reduction in hours, but those funded by state and federal grants would remain open.
"Those positions in the library and positions in the Department of Recreation and Parks were eliminated based on policy decisions between the mayor and the City Council," said Villaraigosa's deputy chief of staff Matt Szabo.
"The council and mayor together decided that they could -- given the financial crisis -- live with fewer library hours," he added.
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