Bargaining Press Conference

Scott's picture

SEIU 503 held a bargaining press conference this afternoon at the Capital.

The bargaining team announced our intention to accept 8 unpaid furlough days and no COLAs for two years. On top of this, they want to move 2 of the furlough days to this biennium. The state has 11 days to consider this. Our next bargaining day is 23-Feb-2009.

You can read the Statesman Journal article about the offer over on their site.


Scott's picture

Re: Bargaining Press Conference

Another report from the Statesman Journal (Union will sacrifice for budget). As expected (by me, not our bargaining team), the Governor blew us off. You have to love the response, ""The governor appreciates the proposal by SEIU today and their recognition of the current fiscal crisis, but we have to wait for the revenue forecast next week before we can provide a prudent and responsible response."
How could they respond any other way? Simple math shows that the offer, however significant it is for us, it nothing to the budget. If the state saves $4 Million for every day of furlough, and we have an $800 Million shortfall for this biennium, then we're looking at 1% of the shortfall.
And for those people that are still thinking that we'll save jobs this way, look at it this way...

  • Layoff proceedings began before bargaining even started.
  • State employees would have to take 200 furlough days before the end of June to eliminate the current shortfall (which could save the jobs and retain services).
  • The guesstimated $2 BILLION shortfall for the next biennium would take 500 furlough days over the next 2 years to cover. That only leaves 10 paid days per year.

It should be obvious that a couple furlough days here-and-there aren't enough to make a significant difference. They're merely a token gesture of good faith if you will. The big cuts will have to come from somewhere else, and that is going to include layoffs.