Cranston scraps 21 city positions as part of cost-cutting initiative

THE CITY OF CRANSTON is cutting 21 municipal positions as part of a cost-cutting initiative, Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins announced Friday. / THANKS FEDERAL RESERVE

CRANSTON — Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins announced late Friday that the city is enacting a series of staff cuts that will result in the shedding of 21 positions to address challenges within the city’s municipal budget.

Hopkins said nine city employees will be formally notified that they will be fired from July 15. In addition, there are seven retirements and five employees who resign voluntarily. The workforce reduction, Hopkins said, will lead to a series of “bumping rights” under the contracts, which will determine which employees in their job descriptions or classifications will be relieved of their duties. Other such actions by the city will be based on the seniority of the employees, Hopkins said.

Hopkins said these cuts are part of cost-cutting measures that will save the city $2.6 million. The eliminated positions will save the city $1.5 million in salaries and benefits alone. Hopkins said salaries and related benefits take up about 70% of the city’s municipal budget.

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“I am not pleased to make this announcement today, but I have determined that it is in the long-term interest of the tax health of the City and of Cranston’s taxpayers that we begin the formal process of reducing the size of our government.” Hopkins said in a statement. a statement.

The mayor also said the city has negotiated in the past month with the four unions representing city personnel: Local 271 of the Laborer’s Union, Local 251 of the Teamsters Union, Local 301 of the International Brotherhood of Police and Local 1363 of the Cranston Firefighters. . Union. While the release does not specify which departments will be affected by the reductions, Hopkins said no position within the police and fire department will be eliminated, and the position of the mayor’s confidential assistant will be removed.

Compensation packages will be offered by the city for employees who voluntarily retire, Hopkins said.

Hopkins said the staff cuts are “not the final step” in the city’s reorganization of government. He said further fiscal strategies will be evaluated and implemented in the future. The mayor said all municipal activities, including evaluating alternatives to health care programs, examining program fees and facility rental rates, targeting cuts to non-essential programs, investigating employee overtime, and selling unused or vacant property or assets, will will continue to be assessed.

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James Bessette is the editor of PBN’s special projects and also covers the non-profit and education sectors. You can reach him at [email protected] You can also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette

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This post Cranston scraps 21 city positions as part of cost-cutting initiative

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