Working Seattle, a group of city strategic advisors and managers that formed in response to Mayor Mike McGinn's (since-scuttled) vow to eliminate 200 strategic advisor and management positions, responded on their web site today to demands from unionized city employees that McGinn cut management positions instead of eliminating their two-percent cost-of-living pay increase next year:
WorkingSeattle continues to reiterate the facts – Strategic Advisors and Managers are not political appointees, we competed into our positions like everyone else; we are not even close to being the highest paid employees in the City; we did not receive COLAs but still had to take furloughs in 2010 resulting in the largest percentage pay cut of any employees in the City; in the last round of lay-offs the Strategic Advisors and Managers were disproportionally impacted; the City is not “top-heavy” with management; we are not “senior level management”; and more – but it seems that facts are not the issue here. Instead, other groups at the City are pressuring the Mayor to implement a self-serving agenda – pay them more, lay off someone else.

The proposed actions by this divisive group of employees are not in the best interest of the tax payers, our services, programs or departments. [...]

We truly hope the Mayor and the City’s Central Budget Office do not cave in to the politically motivated demands of a few self-serving individuals, and that they do not require that City Departments design 2011/2012 budgets around targeted cuts by classification. It is time for the leadership of the City to step forward and put an end to this non-productive, divisive approach.

The city faces a $56 million budget shortfall next year. McGinn has asked departments to come up with cuts of between 2 and 15 percent.
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