Council Creates New Paid Holiday for City Employees

By: 
Bill Pearl

Without public discussion, puts verbiage in contract with city employee unions.

Long Beach City Hall wasn’t conducting the public’s business on Tuesday Nov. 2. It was observing a new paid holiday for city employees created without a separately agendized City Council public vote.  The day off coincides with elections in some cities but not in Long Beach.

Long Beach Councilmembers created the new city employee holiday by slipping a provision into the latest management-negotiated, council-approved MOUs with the politically influential (via campaign contributions) International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union (IAM, which represents non-public safety City Hall employees), plus the LB Supervisors Association and extended the benefit to unrepresented management employees.

In doing so, City Council incumbents also effectively gave themselves an additional day off without reducing their pay.

On Sept. 15, 2020, the City Council voted 8-0 (motion by Zendejas, seconded by Uranga, Price absent) to approve the two MOUs and extend the new holiday benefit to unrepresented management employees.

The agendizing memo stated: “Additional City Holiday: In 2021, employees will receive one additional paid city holiday (Election Day – 1st Tuesday after Nov. 1 every year.” Its Fiscal Impact statement doesn’t detail the additional taxpayer cost of the new holiday.

The IAM contractual provision states “Effective the first full pay period of calendar year 2021, the city will provide one additional city observed holiday (Election Day, First Tuesday after Nov. 1) to eligible permanent full-time and permanent part-time employees.’

There’s no mention of any rationale in the council agendizing memo for the new city paid holiday. That narrative surfaced publicly over a year later in an Oct. 28, 2021 city press release which stated: “The Election Day holiday was created to provide city employees the time to exercise their right to vote if they wish.”

There is no Long Beach election scheduled on Nov. 2, 2021 although some other cities may have one.

[A version of this perspective by the author previously appeared in LBREPORT.com.]

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We need this city to be investigated by the Fed's ASAP

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