Valley Reaction to Work Furloughs

January 29, 2009 6:17:32 PM PST
A Sacramento County Superior Judge ruled Governor Schwarzenegger has the authority to furlough hundreds of thousands of state workers. The decision clears the way for the governor to force state employees to take off two days a month without pay.State workers here and all over the Valley are not pleased with the governor's decision. They're being forced to take off two extra days a month, without pay. That will cut about ten percent from their annual salaries. The governor says the move will save the state money, but people I spoke to say it's making it more difficult to make ends meet.

Governor Schwarzenegger says his decision to furlough 238-thousand state employees will save California about $1.4 billion dollars.

Lynelle Jolley said, "We think it will help us move forward. There has been an impact that this will have on the state employees. We agree it's having an impact thats why we are meeting with them to take about ways to mitigate the impact."

Jeff Fowler, a Graphic Designer for Caltrans in Fresno says the plan isn't only impacting government employees...it's hurting everyone in the state.

Jeff Fowler said, "It's hurting public services and with all his claims that it's gonna save the state money, it's still not gonna put a dent in the deficit."

State run universities and law enforcement agencies will not be affected by the governor's plan. Among those who will ... Caltrans ... who, starting February sixth, will close their four Fresno offices two Fridays a month and the DMV.

The DMV has been forced to cut hours in the past. Now, they'll be closed every first and third Friday of the month. For employees, that means more work and less pay.

Joseph Guerrero said, "It's not fair, it's not fair."

Charlotte Gallyer said, "It's going to be a lot more work because Friday is one of our busiest days. Mondays and Fridays are usually packed."

Charlotte Gallyer has worked for the DMV for nearly twenty years. But, the governor's plan is forcing her to move on.

"My reaction is because of the pay cuts and time off, I'm actually retiring now. I wasn't gonna leave the state this early, but now that I am, it's not fair. I've been here almost 19 years," said Gallyer.

Employee unions that had already challenged Schwarzenegger's Executive Order have said they will appeal Thursday's decision.

The governor says this plan is the only alternative to laying off state employees. The furlough plan goes into effect in February and will last until June of 2010.

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