10:00 PM PST on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

By ALICIA ROBINSON
The Press-Enterprise

Riverside city officials said Tuesday they don’t expect major job cuts in 2010, but minor layoffs are possible and officials will have to close a budget gap of up to $4 million.

The city laid off about 23 workers in 2009. Officials reached an agreement in October with the Service Employees International Union that none of its members would lose their jobs until after Jan. 15.

Representing about 950 city workers, SEIU is Riverside’s largest bargaining unit. Spokeswoman Tracie Morales said the union has not received notice of any layoffs from the city.

It now appears few job cuts, if any, will be necessary, in part because of early retirement and other attrition, officials said.

“I believe for at least the next 12 to 18 months the city is going to be in good shape and not have to do any major layoffs,” Councilman Steve Adams said.

A projected budget shortfall between $2 million and $4 million likely will be addressed with spending trims and use of reserve funds.

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