Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Md. Employees Face Up to 10 Days Unpaid Leave

Maryland state employees will be forced to take as many as 10 days of unpaid leave as part of a new round of budget cuts that Gov. Martin O'Malley plans to propose this week, aides said.

The $470 million in mid-year cuts that O'Malley (D) is expected to formally propose Wednesday will also include reductions in state aid to local governments and additional cuts to state agencies. The latest round of cuts is part of an ongoing effort to close a $700 million shortfall in the state's $13 billion budget that emerged just weeks into the new fiscal year, as tax revenue continues to lag in the bad economy.

Under O'Malley's plan, state government would shut down non-essential services for five days during the remaining 10 months of the fiscal year. Most state employees would forgo pay on those days, resulting in a roughly 2 percent reduction in their salaries.

State employees would also be forced to take as many as five additional furlough days, with higher-paid employees required to take more unpaid leave than their lower-paid counterparts.

Unlike a furlough plan implemented last year, employees that provide round-the-clock services, including correctional officers and state troopers, could also be required to take unpaid leave, aides said. Those employees would take fewer days off, however. Additional concessions have been built in for state employees making less than $40,000.

The plan, as described by O'Malley administration officials, would save more than $60.million this year. That amount will grow if leaders of the judiciary and General Assembly also require their employees to take unpaid leave. O'Malley cannot order those employees to do so.

Patrick Moran, director of AFSCME Maryland, the labor union that represents the largest number of state workers, said he had not seen a finalized plan from O'Malley. But Moran made it clear that unions are not happy with the furloughs.

"The bottom line is furloughs are not something we view as a positive," Moran said. "They will have negative ramifications on services in a number of ways."

Representatives of O'Malley's administration have been negotiating the planned furloughs with union leaders in recent weeks but are not required to reach an agreement to implement them.

The furlough plan will be part of the package that O'Malley presents to the Board of Public Works on Wednesday. The three-member board is authorized to cut the state budget when the legislature is not in session.

The largest savings, about $250 million, will come from reductions in state aid to local governments.

In a speech this month to county leaders, O'Malley said cuts were likely to local health services, police departments, community colleges and road maintenance.

O'Malley also suggested cuts in "disparity grants" that the state makes to Baltimore and seven counties, including Prince George's. The grants are intended to help jurisdictions that cannot raise as much money in per-capita income taxes as more affluent counties.

O'Malley, the former mayor of Baltimore, has largely resisted cutting aid to local government in previous rounds of budget cuts. But the aid -- which amounts to 40 percent of the state's general fund budget -- has become an increasingly attractive target as the economic downturn continues.

During this year's legislative session, lawmakers lopped off almost $162 million in local road funding, nearly a quarter of the aid counties were expecting from the state. Any cuts O'Malley proposes Wednesday will come on top of that hit.

O'Malley plans to brief legislative leaders on the latest round of cuts Tuesday morning.

By John Wagner  |  August 24, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: First Click -- Maryland
Next: Maryland Records Seventh Swine Flu Death

Comments

Didn't a court just rule that the PGC furloughs were a violation of the employees' collective bargaining agreement and order back pay? In other words, is Maryland going to essentially give its public employees extra paid vacations when all is said and done? That's a great way to balance the budget...

Posted by: hisroc | August 24, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

the democrat socialist party is sure doing a good job, isn't it? How's it working out for you dimtards?

Posted by: charlietuna666 | August 24, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

That's great - let's keep spending a fortune providing illegal aliens access to everything in MD including courts, schools, libraries, interpreters, hospitals but meanwhile, we will lay off our citizens to save money. I visited Wheaton the other day and did not recognize it. Good job MD. Good job managing the important things.

Posted by: jackson641 | August 24, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Will the Goveror and his staff also be taking "unpaid" leave? I would be willing to bet "no." And why shouldn't the General Assembly and judiciary employees be expected to take unpaid leave when essential service workers are?

O'Malley you suck as Governor, I can't believe I voted for you. Won 't make that mistake again.

Posted by: Frustratededucator | August 24, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

the democrat socialist party is sure doing a good job, isn't it? How's it working out for you dimtards?

Posted by: charlietuna666 | August 24, 2009 4:07 PM

-------------------------

Hey Tuna Boy, you still around? Thought you were under that rock? Well if you loser buddy Georgie Boy Bush didn't screw up the economy the way he did there wouldn't be any furloughs. Thanks REPUBLITURDS!

Posted by: Classic60 | August 24, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tuna Boy, you still around? Thought you were under that rock? Well if you loser buddy Georgie Boy Bush didn't screw up the economy the way he did there wouldn't be any furloughs. Thanks REPUBLITURDS!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Sorry simpled%^k but MD has been controlled by the DIMOCRATS for the past couple of years and there the ones responsible for the state not the FEDS. LIB T@RDS like you have run you're own states into the ground then when you realize you are nothing more than a complete failure you try to shift the blame to others. How's the illegal population doing???? Thank O'Malley for the mess you find your selves in and think about that the next time you go to vote.

Posted by: askgees | August 24, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Didn't a court just rule that the PGC furloughs were a violation of the employees' collective bargaining agreement and order back pay? In other words, is Maryland going to essentially give its public employees extra paid vacations when all is said and done? That's a great way to balance the budget...

Posted by: hisroc | August 24, 2009 4:01 PM


Yes a judge did rule it's a violation of the agreement. Now PG will simply lay off the amount of people necessary to balance the budget. GREED runs deep. Although I disagree and believe this will be appealed the fact is. The judge cannot order back pay unless the one's that took off come in and actually work the time. It's not as if they worked a day for free. Then again most judges today are clueless m0r0ns. This judge actually said the furloughs violated the constitution. Pretty sad when we have a judge sitting on the bench that's this stupid. MD like VA is a right to work state.

Posted by: askgees | August 24, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

So State Employees, who are already making on average 25% less than their counterparts in comparable positions in private industry and the Federal government, in essence will now be forced to pay a 4% higher income tax than they are. So much for the glorious calling of public service. As soon as the economy turns again, good luck finding an experienced employee left in State service.

Posted by: dcle | August 24, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Sorry askegees, you're terribly misinformed:

1. MD is NOT a right to work state. (Do you even know what "right to work" means?)
2. The judge ruled against PG County because the furlough violated the employees' contract. Under the US Constitution, a state (or county) cannot "impair" a contract unless it is reasonable and necessary. In PG, the Court found that the County had over a $100 million is surplus funds and played fast and loose with this fact. They told the employees they had no money, but boasted to the Bond rating agencies how they had an ample surplus. Such is not the case at the state level inasmuch as Ehrlich spent the state's surplus before O'Malley became Governor.
3. County employees will be paid for the time they lost on furlough because of the County's violation of the contract unless the County wins on appeal.

Posted by: dcinsider1 | August 24, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

askgees,

Your interpretation of the remedy for involuntary furloughs is faulty. The court ordered PGC to reach a settlement on withheld pay with the collective bargaining unit. There is no requirement that the employees actually came to work while furloughed. And, BTW, the furloughs were unconstitutional because they violated the contracts clause of Article 1, Section 10, of the US Constitution. States may not arbitrarily void or negate contracts.

Posted by: hisroc | August 24, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm embarrassed to tell anyone I live in this state. This is what democrats do to everything they get their greedy little hands on.

Posted by: Jimmie54 | August 24, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

How many days is O'Malley being furloughed?

Posted by: kathymac1 | August 24, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I think OMalley should furlough himself and all the people in his office who make 100k or more. This is a disgrace. He repeatedly claims he wants to help the "working families" of Maryland, so who do you think runs the state? BTW Republicans are no better, oh, they whine a lot, but there's no substance to it.

Posted by: VikingRider | August 24, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

So the union in PG won their case against furloughs...now the state will just cut some jobs to combat that loss in court..

Which would you rather have...one days loss on a check or no check at all...be careful what you ask for....

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 24, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I would say that at least 50% of government jobs can be cut, we only need essential personnel like police firemen and ones that work on infrastructure like roads and public works, there is no need for a large executive staff. get rid of all deputy secretaries and their staff, Close down the legislature for 10 years to save money

Posted by: interloper5 | August 25, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

These cry-baby unions are "out of touch".
How would they like to be on 4-day work week since January, (20% pay cut),like most of the rest of the country, since January? Unions need to grow up, they're ruining this country, look at California and New York, why do you think they're bankrupt?
(And to think Obama is encouraging them).

Posted by: ohioan | August 26, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company