City Tries to Balance Budget by Cutting Jobs

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In an attempt to alleviate a $46 million shortfall in the city's budget, the Civil Service Commission yesterday decided to cut employee benefits, increase furlough days and, most drastically, lay off workers, including two dozen firefighters.

Firefighters, needless to say, is not pleased with this development.

"The bottom line is if you lay off firemen, you close firehouses, people die," Jeff Glorioso, secretary-treasurer of firefighters union Local 73 told a commission hearing last night.

The Civil Services Commission outlined its cuts in a 55-page document. Among them: Five extra furlough days for city employees (and ten for managers), cutting back on firefighters' days off and nighttime pay and ending a policy that allowed city workers to cash in on unused sick days.

The firefighters complain that they are being unfairly targeted. City officials, naturally, claim this isn't so, but, in the words of Jeff Rainford, Mayor Slay's chief of staff, "taxpayers are not an ATM."

The Post-Dispatch has a short article today about the effects on the cuts on one firefighter, who may lose his job.

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