Michigan Workers Start Unpaid Days Off
About 11,000 state employees wrapped up a short work week Wednesday on the eve of four unpaid days off as part of a compromise to help make up a budget deficit.
All told, more than half of the state’s 65,000 employees, about 36,400, will have to take time off without pay before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Those unpaid days off will save the state $14 million, officials say.
The furlough days are part of a package that Gov. John Engler and state lawmakers worked out to stem a $2-billion tide of red ink in this year’s $8-billion budget.
Eleven of 19 state departments have worked out plans that allow employees to spread out the time they will have to take off without pay.
Workers exempt from layoffs are those whose jobs affect the health or safety of Michigan cities, those who are paid with money other than from the state’s general fund or those who have a serious impact on private businesses.
Michigan state troopers will remain on the job and state parks will remain open, as will the offices for driver’s licenses and auto license plates.