State Layoffs

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Gov. David Paterson announced this afternoon plans to lay off 8,900 state workers as the state’s budget deficit grew today by $2.2 billion.

In a memo to agency commissioners today, director of state operations Dennis Whalen wrote that concessions from labor unions could not be reached so the layoffs will need to be implemented.

“Unfortunately, the labor organizations representing state employees have rejected all of the savings options put forward by the Paterson administration,” Whalen wrote. “As a result, the state is left with no other option to achieve needed savings other than implementing a workforce reduction plan.”

It’s unclear what agencies would be affected the most. Officials said each agency would have to submit a list of potential cuts.

There was no immediate comment from labor unions, which have criticized Paterson for proposed cuts in state aid to health-care agencies and education.

Paterson had proposed that workers forgo a planned 3 percent pay hike in April and forego a week’s pay next year.

Here’s the memo sent out by Director of State Operations Dennis Whalen to agency heads today.

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8 Comments

  1. There real cuts need to come from the Governor and Legislature. No one has yet to hear of any significant cuts from their salaries, benefits, and offices. I do not know how anyone expects to be elected once more without showing any solidarity with the people of this State.

  2. smartporpoise on

    He’s had it with everyone calling him an indecisive wimp. Here’s hoping he won’t change his mind by tomorrow afternoon. Odds are that Shelley will pay a call.

  3. the consultant on

    the governor is paid to make certain choices and to
    weigh certain options…as the spokesman makes clear
    “Unfortunately, the labor organizations representing state employees have rejected all of the savings options put forward by the Paterson administration,” Whalen wrote. “As a result, the state is left with no other option to achieve needed savings other than implementing a workforce reduction plan.”

    the labor unions are simply stubborn…it is not up
    to the governor to take a salary cut which by the
    way I believe he already has…there are tens of
    thousands of union members and only one governor
    lets be serious

  4. I hear the Consultant is serving as an advisor to Jim Borkowski in his race for Putnam County Sheriff. Now that Westchester County is running out of republican candidates who can afford the Consultants fees, the Consultant must head north to make a little change and keep his business alive. I undertstand things up north are a lot different then down here in Westchester. I have no interest in the race, but will watch and see how the Consultant advises.

  5. the consultant on

    thanks up north..but my role at this point is only
    an informal one friend to friend…I do however
    believe Jim would make an excelent Sheriff..

  6. REDUCE SALARY OF ELECTED OFFICIALS on

    State lawmakers receive a base salary of 79,500 $ plus health, retirement and travel reimbursement and room and board while in session for three days a week for less than 80 days a year. Why not have them do some give backs????????????????????? So some poor worker can keep their job????????????????

  7. Many members of my family are state workers; mom, brothers, sisters, inlaws, friends. Most of them are unable to discuss the layoff/union controversy with any clarity.

    Doesn’t anyone see the big picture? Or care?

    I live in NC and have for 12 years. I can say I don’t miss all the buzz about state workers, abuse of sick time, and their usual regular rants and raves.

    The fact of the matter is most of them are lifers; they’ve never worked anywhere else, particularly in private industry. They have an entitlement mentality, are guaranteed across the board raises, and generally have no incentive to perform at a higher standard.

    In private industry businesses close their doors when the flow of red ink happens for too long. Do state workers really think they are guaranteed jobs for life? Even the Japanese are laying off workers… IBM… Microsoft… Cisco… Intel…

    If the state is giving them such a bad deal why don’t they try their hand in private industry where they can be paid for education, dedication, loyalty, integrity and commitment? Because their eye is on the finish line: their guaranteed retirement.

    What details are behind the union’s suggestions for alternative cost savings? Or is it just smoke and mirrors.

    Take a look at California folks. NYS is #2 in the budget shortfall. If it can happen in CA it can happen in NY.

    The days of head strong unions are over. Maybe it’s time some of the leaders and members brush up on a little history and learn from the past and others. A state job has been a coveted job for a long time. Once you’ve got it you’ve got it for life. Just cruise to retirement… Those days are numbered. Get your heads out of the sand so you can see the writing on the wall.