Newsom looks at budget alternatives for union 

Mayor Gavin Newsom has continued meeting with the public employees union, but has yet to see an alternative plan from the group that would achieve the same amount of savings as his proposal for shorter work weeks.

Yesterday, city departments handed over their budgets to the mayor’s office targeting 20 percent cuts to help offset the $522 million citywide budget deficit. Newsom met with department heads yesterday, asking them to “get creative” with their spending and generating revenue.

But cutting back in the parks department and public works won’t alone solve The City’s massive budget deficit, said Tony Winnicker, Newsom’s spokesman.

“We need labor unions to step up; the departments aren’t going to close the budget,” Winnicker said.

Leaders with SEIU Local 1021, The City’s largest union, said they are still discussing possible alternatives to the proposed 37.5 work weeks.

“Nothing is conclusive,” said Damita Davis-Howard, president of the SEIU Local 1021. “It’s going to be some time.”

The mayor has until June 1 to present a balanced budget to the Board of Supervisors.

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