Thursday, February 26, 2009

State workers union cuts deal with Ohio to impose 10 furlough days for state employees

Ohio state employees wouldn't have to take an outright salary cut but would get 10 unpaid days off a year under a tentative contract agreement worked out between state and union negotiators.

The rank-and-file membership of OCSEA, representing 35,000 workers as the largest state employees union, would have to ratify the pact before it would take effect. The State Controlling Board, a bipartisan legislative panel that reviews major spending proposals, would act on the deal on behalf of the state.

State employees work 2,080 hours annually, so the loss of 80 hours of pay would be roughly equivalent to a pay cut of slightly less than 4 percent.

The union team rejected administration proposals to enact pay cuts up to 6 percent and reduce the paid workweek, opting instead for the 10 furlough days to "make the best of a very bad situation" and to "keep the harm to members to an absolute minimum."

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