Thursday, January 29, 2009

Furlough Feels Like a 4-Letter Word

Looks like that 10% pay cut is happening to EVERYONE who works for the state.
Tentative furlough order favors Schwarzenegger
By Andrew McIntosh
Published: Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009

A Sacramento Superior Court judge has issued a tentative ruling ordering state Controller John Chiang to implement a Schwarzenegger administration plan to furlough state workers two days a month and cut their pay 10 percent.

Judge Patrick Marlette issued the tentative ruling this morning, rejecting arguments by several state workers' unions that the Governor's plan to save $1.3 billion with unpaid time off was illegal and unconstitutional.

Marlette heard oral arguments in the case this morning and is considering making the ruling final.

Marlette's ruling said the state's current budget crisis represented an emergency and the governor's order was " reasonable and necessary under the circumstances."
Jim Zamora, a spokesmen for the Service Employees International Union, Local 1000, said his members were disappointed.

"We've been bargaining continuously with the state for the past week and we hope that we can mitigate this at the bargaining table," Zamora said. "We think we can help the governor achieve his cost savings goals but also cause minimum disruption to the lives of 95,000 state workers that we represent and continue to provide quality public services,"

Furloughs (from DPA’s website

Executive Order S-16-08
calls for a two days per month furlough. In a memo issued January 9, 2009, DPA said we'd post details about the furloughs on our website.

We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.

Why do I have to take two unpaid days off each month?
The State needs to reduce spending immediately. Otherwise, essential services and public health and safety could be in jeopardy. Closing general government operations two days a month will reduce the State's spending.

Do I get to choose which days I'm off?
The furlough days are the first and third Fridays of each month. You don't get to choose unless you're in one of the positions described below.

When is the first furlough day?
February 6, 2009.

My department will require me to work on the first and third Fridays. How does this affect me?
Beginning in February 2009, if your department requires you to work on the first and third Fridays of the month, you would use a "self-directed" furlough. DPA and the departments consulted to determine what positions can use self-directed furloughs. There are two types of self-directed furloughs:
  • For positions that generate revenue, or where services must continue and employees normally must work on holidays: You can choose which two days to take off each month, subject to supervisor approval.
  • For posted positions in 24/7 facilities such as prisons and hospitals: You accrue two furlough days per month to be taken when feasible. Furlough days that cannot be used within the same month must be taken within two years following the end of the furlough program. Furlough days will not be cashed out.
Will the furlough days affect my salary?
Your salary range will remain the same. However, you will only be paid for the time you work, not your two furlough days.

Can I use leave credit such as vacation time to avoid taking a furlough day?
No. You can't substitute other leave for your furlough days.

Will the furlough days affect my benefits such as retirement?
Benefits remain the same. The furlough doesn't affect payouts for unused leave, service credit, health, dental, or retirement benefits.

How does the furlough affect alternate work schedules?
This is an example of an issue we're discussing with employee unions as we meet on the furlough's impact. We'll provide information on alternate work weeks and other furlough-related issues based on developments arising from these meetings.

Updated January 16, 2009 at 10:07 AM.
Well, I guess I'll be able to watch more TV, then.


Jazz said...

Um, stupid question, why don't they just sit down and fix the damn budget already?

ticknart said...

As far as I can tell the Governator and the legislature are all stubborn asshats and don't actually want to compromise.

Plus, the states deficit is around $42 billion.