Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 06/25/2010 01:18:58 PM PDT

MONTCLAIR – By incorporating a hoped-for agreement with city employees to take pay cuts, the City Council this week approved its 2010-11 budget.

City employees are being asked to take off 80 furlough hours in the 2010-11 fiscal year as well as pick up a larger share of pension contributions to help balance the city’s budget.

The steps represent a savings of about $900,000, officials said.

“We are still in negotiations, but we can produce a balanced budget by borrowing from the federal reserves,” Acting City Manager Ed Starr said.

The city’s preliminary 2010-11 budget report, which was presented last week to the City Council, included furlough hours being taken by members of the Montclair Fire Fighters Association and the San Bernardino Public Employees Association as well as a 6 percent additional pension contribution.

While management employees have agreed to accept the proposed reductions, a tentative agreement with the two labor groups is pending.

“I believe that the bargaining units will cooperate seeing that the city’s fiscal situation is as serious as it is and that we do need their cooperation in order to produce a balanced budget,” Starr said.

Council members on Monday agreed to a reduction in their benefits, which saved about $9,000. Each member agreed to suspend their $150 a month allowance, which goes into a retirement plan.

They also agreed to the same reductions for the 2009-10 budget.

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