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Sunday, October 11, 2009

What's next for state workers?

The Concord Monitor's Shira Schoenberg looks at what will happen is state employees approve their new contract:
If workers vote yes, the provisions of the new two-year contract would be retroactive to July 1.

The biggest change for state employees would be unpaid furloughs. State offices would be closed for 12 days over the next two years, which employees would take as unpaid holidays. Employees would also take an additional seven days off without pay. To compensate, employees would get extra paid vacation days between 2011 and 2014.

Employees would not receive a raise based on years of experience, called a step increase, in fiscal year 2011, the second year of the contract, though they could still get raises if they got promoted. They would receive step increases in the first year of the deal.
And if they reject it:
If the new contract is rejected, the old contract that expired July 1 will remain in effect until a new one is adopted. State employees will see no furlough days, no change to their health plan and no change to wages. However, throughout the process, the state has warned that up to 750 employees could be laid off if the old contract remains in place. Layoffs fall outside the provisions of the contract.

"The offer that was made to union, that we have a tentative agreement on, is we'll employ furloughs in lieu of layoffs, but if there's no agreement, we'll have to do layoffs," said state negotiator and Assistant Secretary Of State Thomas Manning.

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