The Douglas administration
released its plan Friday to achieve $13.4 million in personnel savings in the current budget year -- and it didn't include any more layoffs.
Earlier this spring, the administration
sent layoff notices to more than 100 workers. As a result, 102 are no longer in state employ. In all, the administration
has cut 247 positions from state government. That results in $8.45 million in savings -- a big step toward the $13.4 million target the Legislature
set in its budget.
The plan spell out how to find the remaining $4.94 million. A big chunk -- $2.5 million -- will come from leaving 122 positions vacant if 325 workers take the retirement incentive offered in the Legislature's
budget. Anyone eligible to retire can get cash and insurance benefits for leaving by Sept. 1. About 1,000 workers could qualify, but lawmakers capped the program at 300. Now the administration
suggests bumping up the allowable retirements to 325 and increasing the number of job vacancies.
Most people seemed to expect a lot more layoffs would be needed since the union had failed to agree to any pay and benefit cuts. Turns out the retirement program could produce savings sooner than expected. If it doesn't, however, Secretary of Administration
said layoffs will occur. That should become clear by October.
Another sharp revenue decline could also trigger layoffs -- so no one is out of the woods yet.
also banks on savings from continuing
the pay freeze that affect many salaried and all temporary workers. There could begin to be some hard feeling in the workforce as these folks feel the pinch while those in the union bargaining unit get their pay increases as usual. Of course, the salaried personnel tend to be at the higher end of the pay scale.
Most workers have dodged the bullet for now, but who can tell what's to come.
-- Nancy Remsen
Labels: Douglas administration, Neale Lunderville, Rep. Michael Obuchowski, union, Vermont, Vermont Legisalture, Vermont State Employees Association