Coleman Orders 5-Day Layoffs

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All city employees that do not wear a uniform to work will face a five-day mandatory layoff, Mayor Michael Coleman announced Wednesday.

Coleman, who unveiled the plan during a news conference, said the move will save the city about $1.6 million, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported.

In addition to ordering temporary layoffs, Coleman also announced that 12 union employees will be laid off. The mayor did not elaborate about who would be laid off, but he said top level management would be impacted.

Leaders said the layoffs would save the city an additional $500,000. The mayor said that additional cuts could be made in coming weeks.

Coleman also spoke about the city's decision to dismiss 27 Columbus police recruits who will graduate from the police academy later this week.

By not hiring the recruits, Coleman said the city will save about $1.25 million. Still, Coleman said he was not opposed to trying to find the money to hire the cadets.

"I do not want to lay off the recruits and my door is open," Coleman said, referring to the police union that has been at odds with the mayor over his request for a union pay freeze.

The Fraternal Order of Police filed a labor complaint against Coleman last week, alleging the mayor tried to strong-arm the union into agreeing to his request.

Coleman denied the charge, saying his request to accept a pay freeze was reasonable and vital to helping the city balance its 2009 budget.

City leaders said the latest round of moves will save the city about $6.5 million. The city still needs to come up with another $6.5 million to balance the budget.

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