Mayor Garcetti is on to something. Too bad he is off the mark with his objective.
He wants to hire 50 part-time parking enforcement officers in hopes of squeezing $5 million in additional ticket revenue from citizens. If that’s what he means by “back to basics” I can only imagine how sidewalk repairs will be handled.
But the concept of using part-time employees to perform a repetitive job is actually a pretty good one.
So rather than adding the 50, why doesn’t the city eliminate 50 full-time parking officers and replace them with a full-time equivalent of part-timers? Say 100 half-time employees.
The annual average salary for transportation department traffic and meter techs is around $60,000. Load at least another $20,000 in benefits and the total compensation is up to $80,000. Since part-time employees do not earn benefits, replacing the 50 would save the benefit load, or $1 million per year. Some of that would be offset by additional training costs, but there would still be very measurable savings, especially when one considers the favorable impact on long-term pension costs.
While this alternative would not benefit the bottom line by $5 million, the message is better – that the mayor is serious about cost control.
The use of part-timers for some positions would allow better staffing flexibility, too.
The mayor should be considering the limited use of part-time employees in other areas as well. Seasonal spikes in workloads could be handled more efficiently without overreliance on overtime.
Of course, the unions will raise bloody hell, but Garcetti should remember who elected him.