Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is seeking roughly a 25% cut in the pay that city civilian workers receive while on injury leave, an unusually generous benefit that critics say has contributed to increasing taxpayer costs.

In an interview, Garcetti confirmed that injury-leave pay is one of several areas — along with healthcare and pension costs — where the city is seeking concessions from labor.

Union representatives are defending the current injury-pay formula, saying the city should not penalize workers when they are hurt.

Garcetti, however, said compensation for job-related injury claims “has to be negotiated at the table.”

“All of us want a common-sense solution where people don’t have an extra incentive to stay away,” the mayor said Thursday, shortly after being briefed on labor contract talks. “It’s lost productivity, and if you can make more money not being at work, it invites abuse, even though I think most people have legitimate claims.”

He declined to discuss his proposal in detail, citing the confidentiality of the bargaining process. He acknowledged that the possibility of reductions is not something “many unions have been eager to even entertain.”

 

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