That the main city employees union got a 1.5% pay cut on Tuesday despite members' strong opposition wasn't for lack of trying.
There they were, a mass of red T-shirts on the television broadcast of the City Council meeting Tuesday, as one by one members of the Glendale City Employee's Union took the podium to tell of how a 1.5% pay cut would not only harm morale and the ability to attract high-quality applicants, but even dissolve household budgets and fertility treatment plans.
But the City Council held its ground, voting to impose the pay cut and create a two-tiered retirement system for new hires that includes higher employee contributions to health benefits and pension plans. They did so under the weight of ever-climbing pension costs for employees as revenues through property and sales taxes continue to come in lower than expected.
But given what's going on in Los Angeles and other cities, where workers who've managed to keep their jobs are under perpetual threat of losing them, the imposed contract — which came after failed negotiations and impasse — seems like a fair shake.
And since the contract is imposed, who's to say the City Council couldn't have pushed for more austere conditions? That it stopped at 1.5%, and not 3% or deeper, shows at least some restraint from shoving a tall order down the union's throat.
That may be hard for the members to process, but considering the region's unemployment rate is hovering at or near double digits, to them, a 1.5% salary cut with the promise of health care and benefits probably sounds like a pretty good option.