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More on Rumors of Paratransit Demise

Despite my E-FORUM Rumors of Paratransit Demise Exaggerated, November 29, 2009, I continue to get emails and phone calls alleging that drivers are being laid off and service is terminating.


Here is the latest from City Manager Bill Lindsay:


The following is a summary of conversations that have taken place between Human Resources (HR) Department, Recreation staff, and Local 21, as provided to me by the HR Department:


Per the Local 1021 MOU Article V.A.2, a department head must notify the HR Director 30 days prior to the effective date of a proposed layoff. On November 13, 2009, Recreation staff (which oversees the Paratransit program) notified HR that six (6) Local 1021 Paratransit Drivers were to be recommended by the Department for layoff.  Note that this was part of the budget reduction analysis that all departments were required to complete.  Recreation Department staff identified the names of these 6 employees, their classification, and whether their service to the City was satisfactory.  These notices were provided to Local 1021 in a letter dated November 16, 2009 because of our contractual obligations and our commitment to keep Local 1021 informed regarding budget matters.  On November 25, 2009, the City had a meeting with Local 1021 to meet and confer regarding the impact of pending layoffs.  The union was informed repeatedly that no layoff notices had been sent to employees AND that the Paratransit Drivers would not be laid off on December 15 because no final decisions regarding that program had been made.  HR also stated repeatedly that it was unknown what exactly would be happening, if anything, with Paratransit.


Immediately following the meeting, after conferring with the City Manager, Ms. Cleveland was informed that no decision regarding the Paratransit program and been made and everything was on hold. She was told this in front of several of the Local 1021 officers.  Ms. Cleveland was informed that if and when decisions were finalized, a meeting would be convened with the Union, City Manager, Recreation Manager, Finance Director and HR.


To reiterate:


         No Paratransit drivers have received layoff notices, although the Recreation Department has provided information to the HR department about potential layoffs.  These notices are consistent with labor agreements and part of openly communicating with bargaining units and staff members who may be impacted by budget cuts.


         The service is continuing "as is" in the short term.


         We are currently evaluating alternatives for continuing this service in a way that lowers the general fund subsidy, and it is not known at this time point what will be recommended to the City Council.


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions ore require any additional information.


Bill Lindsay

City Manager

City of Richmond

450 Civic Center Plaza

Richmond, CA 94804-1630


Phone:  510-620-6512

Fax:      510-620-6542

e-mail:   bill_lindsay@ci.richmond.ca.us