State to shed 3,722 jobs over two years

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   The state will save about $260 million over the next two years through a mixture of severance payments, attrition and elimination of funded vacancies, Gov. David Paterson’s Division of Budget announced this afternoon.  All told, the state will shed 3,722 jobs in agencies that are subject to hiring management by the executive branch. Of those, 2,633 positions will be cut through attrition and eliminating funded vacancies.

   The state so far has authorized one-time severance payments of $20,000  to 1,089 workers — $21.78 million — and more may be offered, according to the Budget Division. The employees have to sign an “Irrevocable Letter of Voluntary Resignation” by Nov. 11, and their positions will not be refilled.

   The Budget Division announced in July that the $20,000 “incentive payments” would be offered to about 4,500 employees. The buyouts plus other savings and reductions would save about $260 million over two years, the state said at the time.

   “The voluntary severance program will achieve its objective — substantially reducing state costs at a time of unprecedented fiscal difficulty, while mitigating potential layoffs in a difficult economic environment,” Budget Director Robert Megna said in a statement.

   Megna said the Budget Division looks forward to working with the Legislature this month to enact Tier V pension reform. He was referring to an agreement between the governor and public-employee unions to save the state money by providing less-generous pension benefits to new employees. Lawmakers would have to pass legislation to do that.

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