The furlough days outlined in the resolution are spread across four pay periods to reduce the wage impact on employees, he said.
The furloughs would occur on Nov. 13 and 25, and Dec. 4 and 24.
“We are also encouraging full-day closures of as many county offices as possible on these days,” said Coggs, chairwoman of the county board’s finance and audit committee. “By closing offices on four business days, we will see energy savings on top of the savings on personnel costs.”
Before they passed this resolution, it was amended to make an exception for the courts, since they all had cases booked to be heard. The Board agreed to allow the courts to go with only one day of furlough and the rest of the required savings made up in other cost cutting methods.
The problem is that as we were told of the first day a month ago, many people planned accordingly and bought airline tickets for traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. One person even scheduled a medical procedure for that day.
Now these people are being told that they will either have to report to work or use their own time to take off, if they have any time left to take. This creates an unfair burden on the workers who planned accordingly.
I also learned today that the nurses union was allowed to make a special arrangement with the County where they will not have to take any furlough days. The only thing that they are giving up is that on the next minor holiday, Veteran's Day, they only will accumulate four instead of eight hours of holiday time to be taken later.
So, now we have the essential services like the Sheriff's Office, the House of Correction and the Behavioral Health Division already exempt, the lawyer's union gets only one day of furlough, and the nurses only give up half a day of free time. That means that the County is trying to fix their budget on the back of about 2,000 workers and the people they serve.
I'm not complaining about the furloughs per se. It's just make up your minds on a plan and stick to it.
Perhaps what the County needs is their own Smart Furlough Bill.