Five city workers, who were laid off with two days notice and then temporarily reinstated after union outcry, left their posts Friday — this time for good.
Citing stagnant or decreasing federal grants, City Hall officials said they could not afford to let the employees remain. But union leaders said they were disappointed that the employees — all women over 40 — were given less than a week’s notice of their termination.
The dust has now settled, but city leaders are still weighing in. Ward 5 Alderman Jorge Perez said he can think of few worse ways that the city could have dealt with the situation.
“On my 19 years on the Board of Aldermen, I’ve seen layoffs been handled many different ways,” Perez said. “This is not the most humane way to do it. And I’m not sure … that all the all the I’s were dotted and all the T’s were crossed and that we knew every possible alternative.”
But Board of Aldermen President Carl Goldfield said the firings, though regrettable, were “absolutely necessary.”
“It’s a tight budget year,” Goldfield said. “To make this all balance out at the end of the year, this is what we have to do.”