February 03, 2010 11:42 AM
Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • The city is calling for employees willing to be voluntarily laid off, with another round of cuts expected soon.

“Due to a severe drop in revenues over the last two years, we are anticipating additional layoffs to occur within the next two months,” states a letter from City Manager Jim Cox, which was sent to city staff on Jan. 25.

It’ll be the second hit in a matter of months, with some 50 employees laid off last summer as the city struggled to close a $13 million deficit in its general fund.

During the State of the City address Wednesday morning, Mayor Rudy Cabriales thanked the employees who had opted for early retirements before the last round of layoffs, allowing more employees to keep their jobs.

Cabriales called those layoffs “heartbreaking” and said they were “nothing I would wish on anybody.” Still he said, “I know that additional cuts will be made.”

Employees who opt for the voluntary layoff will receive 10 days’ severance pay if they sign a separation and release agreement, the letter from Cox states. Laid-off employees were offered the same package last July, in exchange for signing away rights to ever sue the city or say anything negative about it.

Departing employees will also receive 100 percent of their accrued vacation and compensatory pay, the letter says, plus sick leave accruals according to current benefit agreements. They’ll also be placed on a potential rehire list, and can apply to get continued health insurance coverage.

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