Local Politics

Layoff notice to state workers could create problems

Posted February 2, 2011

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— State lawmakers grappling with a projected $3.7 billion deficit say layoffs are inevitable as services are cut to reduce spending.

Managers are legally required to give state workers at least 30 days' written notice of a layoff, and a human resources expert said Wednesday that could cause trouble in state offices.

"It's a gut-wrenching situation. So, employers need to do everything they can to take the pain out of this," said George Ports, a consultant with Capital Associated Industries. "There are always situations where an employee can be very vengeful and can do something that they shouldn't do."

In most private-sector businesses, people are quietly shown the door when they have been laid off, although companies that lay off large numbers of workers during a plant closing are required to provide 60 days' notice.

"Whether you have experience doing it or no experience, it's never an easy process," Ports said.

The State Office of Personnel has already started preparing for the worst, creating a Reduction in Force Team to provide information and transitional resources for state workers.

The Administrative Office of the Courts sent correspondence throughout the state court system Wednesday afternoon calling for a voluntary reduction in force. If the voluntary plan doesn't work to meet budget restrictions, a mandatory reduction could follow.

State Personnel Office Layoff notice to state workers could create problems

"I think all state employees are very concerned about what's going to be happening during this budget cycle," said Doranna Anderson, a public health educator with the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Anderson said lawmakers need to consider reforming the state tax code and closing corporate loopholes before cutting jobs.

"State employees can be an easy target, but I think we need to look at the whole picture," she said.

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger said lawmakers also are looking at cutting pay across state government and requiring state workers to pay premiums for their own health insurance.

State employees took a 0.5 percent pay cut in mid-2009 as part of Gov. Beverly Perdue's executive order requiring mandatory furloughs to help close a previous budget gap.

"There's no way we get there (to a balanced budget) without salary reductions, layoffs (and a) reduction of certain services," Berger said.

21 Comments

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  • beachcrocs Feb 3, 2011

    if an employee has capped out at their salary, does not make $45,000/yr. minimum and has not received more than the cost of living increase in the last 10 yrs. i don't believe their salaries should be cut AT ALL. if you haven't be able to give them anything then you certainly should be allowed to take away something you have been able to give them because of your policies.
    I believe a policy need to be put into place that our lawmakers should abide by the same per diem rates as all other state employees; and if they are unable to balance the budget by the appointed deadline that they have set forth then their per diem should be stopped at the date of the deadline. that is one of the largest unnecessary costs to taxpayers annually. stop letting retirees come back to work after 6 months UNNECESSARILY; too much double dipping going own. it's amazing what can and cannot be justified in state government.

  • wewoods Feb 3, 2011

    Want to know why you see 5 guys digging one hole? Because they're are laws and codes you have to abide by set forth by our State and Federal Government that make in mandatory for for them all to be there for safety reason's. Hope everyone's got a set of extra tires in their trunks because when layoff's start happening, you think the roads are bad now....

    The budget of a big NC city's street maintenance operation was cut 75% last year, but bev got new carpet...but we're still adding and building?? That spells trouble in any language.

    If you have no infrastructure, you have nothing... how can you build with no foundation?

  • lili64 Feb 3, 2011

    @ e2brtus..& also in 1991 their was a RIF...& the State is still in a budget crisis. Now, what good did the RIF really do...its obvious that layoffs/RIF is not the answer cause 15-20 yrs we still need the RIF to get the budget right? NO cause we've been RIFing for that long. I hate 2 say it, but I would much rather give up longevity if it meant keep my job instead of a RIF...might be an idea

  • Plenty Coups Feb 3, 2011

    "What will happen to grandma when services to help the elderly are no longer available? What will happen to the child with special needs? What will happen when our children no longer have a teacher? What will happen when a communicable disease breaks out? Who will make sure we have clean and safe eating places? Who will take responsibility for ensuring that dangerous prisoners are locked up and maintaining public safety? What will happen when our roads are no longer maintained?"

    Well, according to "DontLikeTheSocialistObama", none of this matters since we must "punish the arrogant!!!!"

  • Arapaloosa Feb 3, 2011

    Oh no, you mean the state might actually have to do what all the other employers in the state have been doing? I didn't see Bev wringing her hands when I got laid off last April...

  • barnzez Feb 3, 2011

    DontLikeTheSocialistObama - How can you be so cruel? I'm a state employee and also a Republican. I think State government should be smaller, even though it might mean my job. How can you judge all state employees? I've worked with the state for a long time and I'm not far from retirement. There are a lot of us state employees that do our jobs very well and just try to stay afloat in this economy. And by the way, I pay taxes too.

  • gunny462 Feb 3, 2011

    Actually our currency (the U.S dollars) was created due to the confusion that was generated when states had their own ideas/designs of currency. One states currency usually wasn't accepted in another state. It (currency) predates the dollar by thousands of years, starting in Egypt I believe.

  • jscletsplay1002002 Feb 3, 2011

    @ wewoods "Money was invented to motivate people to work"

    Money was not made for that reason, it was made so you wouldnt have to carry your 20 chickens to trade with someone for their pig. Or here in NC, you wouldnt have to drive your tractor to town with a trailor full of tabacco to trade for a horse.

    People will miss the services the state employees supply when its gone. Roads, cleaning highway of debris, parks being kept, etc... etc.... Cant wait til all the mental people start running around like zombies.

  • cwmllc1952 Feb 3, 2011

    It's amazing how everyone has a good reason why their job should not be cut and their department can't make it with less money.If you had managed your money 2 years ago there would be less jobs cut now.

  • cwmllc1952 Feb 3, 2011

    It's amazing how simple economics really is.When the private sector was laying off, government employees could not see that it could ever effect them.Sure no one wants to loose their job.We are just getting back to work regular after 3 years.Cutting my taxes and laying off more people will not help anyone.The more people not working = less work for me = longer recession.I'm in the private sector and would love to PAY some TAX for 2011.As we are back at work hopefully unemployment wwill not run out for those who need it.Tell Bev NO TAX CUTS

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