Palisades-Malibu YMCA Proposes Cutting Hours

The Palisades-Malibu YMCA on Via de la Paz is proposing severe cuts in operating hours starting August 1.

Monday through Thursdays the gym would be open from 5:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Friday, it would be open from 5:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday it would be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Current hours are Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Satur- day and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Executive Director Shelly Skaro was called and emailed about this decision, but is on vacation until July 20.

An employee at the Y spoke on the condition of anonymity. She did not know if Skaro had contacted the local board, but said, “Metro recommended that a few branches reduce hours and this was one, based on usage over the past six months.”

The employee was asked why the hours would be cut back, given the Y’s statement “Our strength is in community” and “The Y is community centered. For nearly 160 years, we’ve been listening and responding to our communities,” and “The Y brings people together. We connect people of all ages and backgrounds to bridge the gaps in community needs.”

The employee once again said it was a decision made by Skaro and Metro. It was pointed out to the employee that by limiting afternoon and evening hours, teens who are in school during the week and sleep in on weekends would have difficulty using the facility. It would also affect commuters, many of whom don’t make it home by 7 p.m.

One of the reasons given for cutting the hours was the increase in the minimum wage by the City of L.A. (as of July 1) to $10.50 an hour.

Will YMCA workers be able to make up lost hours on another day?

“Metro gave the instruction to cut operation and payroll costs,” an employee said. The people working at the Palisades-Malibu YMCA will now make less than before, even with the increased minimum wage. Metro YMCA Senior Vice President of Communications Kris S. Nakamura responded, “These are proposed new hours. Through the end of the July, Palisades-Malibu YMCA will monitor activity of members to determine if adjustments needs to be made prior to August 1 when the new hours are proposed to take effect. We are committed to serving the Palisades-Malibu community and our members can trust that our hours will continue to reflect their needs.” —Sue Pascoe

(Editor’s note: After the story “YMCA to Cut Operating Hours,” appeared in the July 20 issue of the Palisades News, an email was received the next day from Mark Dengler, chief operating officer and executive vice president of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles. He said that the hours will not be cut starting in August as originally stated, but instead this Y will be evaluated in September before a final decision is made.)

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