Under the proposed contract, state employees who work Monday through Friday and do not hold jobs deemed essential that require staffing for 365 days a year would be required to take 19 unpaid holidays over the next two years. Twelve of those holidays would be scheduled at one end of regular holiday weekends, meaning that the workers would get four days off in a row and state government would be shut down on the unpaid holiday. State workers also would be required to schedule seven additional unpaid days off. (As compensation, they will receive five extra paid holidays each year from 2011 to 2014.)
While this proposal should be substantially more attractive to unionized workers than the prospect of wholesale layoffs, we do not underestimate the financial hardship it will cause. For lower-paid state employees who are having trouble making ends meet, losing more than nine days of pay annually is no trivial matter.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009
Facing Furloughs; Residents also feel the pain
The Valley News editorial page weighs in on the issue of layoffs versus furloughs, and says the state had a tough choice.