Friday, October 3, 2008

While Louisiana remains stable; Some State workers face bleak budget picture

The economic downturn has hit states hard, and among those feeling the effects are state employees, whose salaries are being frozen, who are retiring before they wanted to, who are being asked to take furloughs, or unpaid days off, and who, in an estimated 7,000 cases, have been laid off.

State employees have traditionally accepted lower salaries in return for greater benefits and job security. But with the economy in a doldrums — only three years after states had emerged from the last recession — the hiring and salary freezes and benefit cuts that occurred earlier this decade are making a comeback as states struggle to meet their budgets.

A recent report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which tracks policies that affect the poor, found that 15 states face shortfalls in the budgets they just

Tracking news accounts, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union estimated that almost 7,000 full-time state employees nationwide have been laid off, and reported that state officials have announced planned layoffs of another 26,000. Additionally, more than 7,000 people in seven states have taken early retirement

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