Union to ask court to block furlough of state workers

August 05, 2010 | | Comments 17

FRANKFORT — A labor group said it will file for an injunction at 11 a.m. Friday in Franklin Circuit Court to block Gov. Steve Beshear from implementing a plan to furlough state workers for six days.

AFSCME Kentucky, which represents about 9,000 state workers, said in a news release that the furloughs will do irreparable harm to Kentucky’s citizens and employees.

The first furlough day proposed for state workers is Sept. 3.

Beshear said last month that his administration will furlough most state workers for six days in the fiscal year that began July 1 to save about $24 million.

Without the furloughs, the state would have to lay off 413 state workers to make the necessary budget cuts, according to Personnel Secretary Nikki Jackson.

The union said furloughing corrections employees at 24-hour prisons will jeopardize the state’s ability to maintain security for neighboring communities and the safety of staff and inmates.

“Many of Kentucky’s prisons are already understaffed and now rely on extensive overtime costs just to meet mandated staffing levels; they cannot be safely run by fewer employees or by potentially fatigued workers who will be required to make up for unfilled posts,” the union said in its news release.

The union also contends that furloughing social services employees will put children needing immediate protection in harm’s way and subject families in crisis to delays that could bring serious consequences to Kentucky’s communities.

–Jack Brammer

Filed Under: State BudgetState GovernmentSteve Beshear

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  1. twt says:

    What about the damage to the state employee & their family who depend on every day’s pay? It may very well affect their ability to buy food, gas, medicine. It may also hinder just paying everyday expenses. Not only is the governor to thank for taking advantage of being able to furlough the employees, but we also need to thank the elected officials who gave him the authority to do this..

  2. crjmjr says:

    Agreed. As a state police employee, I barely get by as it is and I don’t have excessive expenses. These idiots making us take days off at the beginning of the month which will reflect on our end of the month paycheck. This means some people are going to have a heck of a time coming up with their rent or mortgage payment for 3 months in a row. Having to roll over $100 or more from one paycheck to another just to make sure we have enough to pay the rent and all other bills due around the 1st of the month is a lot harder than you think if you’re barely getting by as it is. They should not make those that make under X amount do furloughs. I feel sorry for all the maintenance workers who make minimum wage. They also fail to realize that when you furlough police and corrections you end up having to have others work overtime to compensate for the lack of staff. In the end, it ends up costing more than if they never did it to begin with.

  3. fred says:

    That stupid labor union better not screw this up. I’ve already got my four day weekend planned out.

  4. George says:

    Most of us have had to suffer through more than one salary cut and the state employees are worried about a 6 day furlough. Give me a break. I know state employees that are retired at age 50 and living very well off their retirement checks. It is about time the state cut back instead of raising my taxes. I say 6 days is not enough.

  5. Jethro Bodine says:

    @George: I’m a state employee with a large family. These furlough’s are going to cost my kids their Christmas holiday. I worked 12 hours yesterday, instead of my regular scheduled 9.5 and will not receive a red cent more, and I’m not salaried. George and all the other haters, the majority of state employees are broke and living paycheck to paycheck. This is a serious impact on our lives. Look, we’re the one’s working to supply deadbeats like you with money for your unemployment and welfare check. Keep ’em comin’ you haters.

  6. Concerned says:

    These furlough’s are going to cost my kids vacation time. I just can not see why they don’t cut the ones that make $70,000 or more, cut there pay 10% that will have safe some money there. Why try to hurt the people that make $30,000 or less and have a family to support.

  7. snappy says:

    All you state workers – call, write, and go to the legislators to complain. Those doofuses are taking the chicken-sh1t way out instead of managing the govt effectively. THEY put the hurt on YOU. Us voters feel for you but we are out of patience with the a-holes in Frankfort. It would be far better to cut crappy wasteful programs and even get rid of some employees than to make everybody take a hit in the wallet.

  8. George says:

    Hey look dumb a$$. I work over 60 hours a week and travel every week so don’t you dare call me a deadbeat. That just shows how dumb you are. It is people like you that steal from the state every day you go to work. Tell me how state workers can retire at 50 and live in a nice house, play golf 3-4 times a week, and go out to dinner 2-3 times a week to nice places. I will tell you, the majority are over paid and under worked. Maybe not you but you are living off the taxes I pay. It is state employees like you that make people like me, hard working taxpayers, feel the way we do. And as far as your kids Christmas and vacations, those are not God given rights. Man up and quit your crying. Get a real job! I doubt we would even miss a beat if you are gone for 30 days! And if you cannot afford to have children, then don’t have them, we could use less freeloaders in this country anyway.

  9. crjmjr says:

    If someone has worked their 20 or 25 years in state government then they have earned their retirement. Some of us, like me have just started with state government and I have to work 27 years before I can retire. It’s the welfare and disability program that needs to feel the cuts because half the people on it are abusing it and just to dang lazy to get a job. As usual, it’s the taxpayers who work that get hurt the most but the freeloaders who don’t do anything but sit at home and pop out kids that get to live comfortably.

  10. Citizen says:

    It’s time for state employees to rally behind a new candidate for govenor. Beshear only cares about his political goons while state police, probation and parole, and social services are on the brink of failure. Let me give you another example. Under Steve “tough on crime” Beshear a prison year has gone from 7.5 months to 5.5 months. Gov. Beashear is cutting the most important services while keeping polictical appointees that do nothing and take home state vehicles. If every state employee can rally 10 votes we can throw this crooked politician out of office. It’s during times like these that a new candidate for govenor can make all the difference by standing up for civil servants and getting tough on crime.

  11. Buck Feshear says:

    Lots of state employees I know couldn’t wait to trade in Fletcher for Beshear. Now some of the most hard-core Democrats (probably 25 percent of the 80 percent or so state employees that are registered Democrats) are saying they’d give anything to have Fletcher back and they can’t wait to get rid of Beshear. Given the way state employees have traditionally been a bloc vote for the D’s, that’s saying something.

  12. jane stateworker says:

    I have worked in social servcies for the state of ky for 7 years and earn 28,000. per year. I can not live comfortably on this salary. Everyday is a struggle and I work my butt off every day, often without a lunch break. It is wrong to ask those of us in these jobs to go without pay when there are 1000’s of other state employees (ahem! transportation cabinet?) that can not only afford to take a day off without pay but would welcome it, and no one (like my clients) would suffer for it.

  13. jane stateworker says:

    and by the way, the state retirement fund will be empty by the time I get my 27 years in.

  14. State workers can't handle it says:

    If you state workers posting on here think life will be better under Richie Farmer or David Williams you’re just crazy.

    Would you rather be furloughed or laid off?

    I guarantee you a GOP governor will not care one iota to lay you off or furlough you a whole month. If you can’t figure that one out then that probably explains why you are a low-level state employee.

    When the economy improves state employees will see some of the benefit.

    As long as the economy is dragging the Gov expects you all to get no better deal than the private sector and the private sector doesn’t have anything close to state employee pensions and healthcare.

    And Buck F, you’re just a sycophantic GOP jester. Fletcher’s top people were more lawless than any Democrat in the past 50 years. He held a Hitler-youth blanket pardon rally for crying out loud. If that’s the sort of government you want you’re insane.

  15. crjmrj says:

    State workers can’t handle it – no state employees won’t see a benefit. Ya we might get a raise again but a ONE PERCENT raise which doesn’t even cover the cost of inflation or our utlity bills that just went up! State government overpays some jobs and underpays others.

  16. barryv says:

    I’ve been in Corrections for close to 21 years. Our main objective is to protect staff, inmates and the citizens of our Commonwealth. After 21 years my income is around 40000 a year. Our pay had been frozen for the next two years… no pay increase, not even the one percent that we got in the past. I deal with the worst of society, rapist, murderers, pedophiles, ext. Why should I stay around, with the furloughs my pay is decreasing the longer I stay. It’s hard enough to get people that will work in this environment, we’re verbally and sometimes physically abuses on a daily basis. I do this job in part because I am proud that I cam make a small difference and help to protect out citizens from the worst of society. I guess we could start releasing the rapist and murderers back in to the community. Is that what you want. You really don’t understand the sacrifices we make to protect the ones we care about. There is so many areas in state government where cost could be cut by using common sense. It seems like that’s one commodity that we have lost, the ability to use common sense… It’s a shame.

  17. Buck Feshear says:

    “And Buck F, you’re just a sycophantic GOP jester. Fletcher’s top people were more lawless than any Democrat in the past 50 years.”

    And you, ma’am, sound like a Greg Stumbo sycophant. You might want to take your lips from his arse or he’ll never be able to get around 19 holes (especially the 19th one) on that golf course where he owns a home that he never stays in because his real residence is in Lexington.