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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Destroy Michigan 101: Gov. Rick Snyder threatens to fire state employees who disagree with cuts to pay, benefits

Photo Credit-Google Images
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder plans
include firing state employees who's
unions don't agree to deep cuts in
pay and benefits.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) is making back-up plans to fire state unionized employees if he cannot wrestle $145 million in pay concessions from the workers, through negotiations scheduled to begin next week, Bloomberg News is reporting.

Snyder’s plan flies in the face of negotiated unionized contracts and some Michigan Civil Service Commission rules, which all state of Michigan employees, are regulated by.

As a preset for Gov. Snyder plans to terminate state employees’ unions who don’t meet his demands, his spokesperson told various Michigan departments supervisors last week to plan for dismissals and cutbacks “as a last resort” should employees not agree to concessions, Sara Wurfel, a spokeswoman for the Governor’s office noted. 

The number of possible firings is yet undetermined.
"We told them we realize it's already pretty skinny out there, so ... they are at the point of making layoffs," Weiss said. "We told them we know it's an unpleasant assignment, and it's not going to be fun." said Kurt Weiss, spokesman for the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
Contracts for the seven bargaining units expire September 30th. Governor Snyder recently passed budget for 2011-12 beginning on October 1st was built within achieving a $145 million reduction in pay or benefits for state employees. Meanwhile, C & S Corporations in Michigan received $1.5 billion dollars’ worth of tax breaks, under Snyder’s budget.

Ray Holman, spokesman for United Auto Workers Local 6000, representing up to 17,000 social service workers and other state employees, says that cuts over the years, have left critical departments with bare bones staffing already. With such, two highly important departments, corrections and social service staffs, particularly can't handle Gov. Snyder’s proposed cuts, Holman cited.

"If we get to a situation where there is going to be layoffs, it's going to be a public safety hazard," Holman said.

The cuts would affect most of the state’s approximately 47,000 employees, Wurfel said and unions were told of the administration’s plans.

Wurfel acknowledged that the state employee workforce has declined by 12,900, or 21%, over the past decade, but added that state employee compensation has increased by 38% in that time.

"That's simply unsustainable, out-of-step with the private sector, and we must adjust to fiscal realities," Wurfel said.
“We would rather come to an agreement at the bargaining table. Layoffs are one option in any contingency plan, as are not filling vacancies, reducing travel or contracting for some services”, Wurfel noted.

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