Governor Implements Statewide Hiring Freeze

One of the first orders of business for Governor Brad Henry in 2010 was to put into effect a statewide hiring freeze, essentially reinforcing a freeze that has been in effect since the Walters Administration.

Henry signed Executive Order 2010-1 on January 4th, stating: “Except as specifically provided and authorized by this order, all affected state agencies are prohibited from hiring, reinstating, or promoting employees and from accepting a transferred employee from another agency.”

The order essentially shuts down all employment opportunities with the state of Oklahoma.

“OPEA understands the need for discretion,” said Executive Director Sterling Zearley. “We are in the throws of a budget shortfall that is unprecedented in Oklahoma. We concur with the Governor in implementing this freeze; but we also urge him to realize we must have enough employees on the job to keep the state operating, and make sure the needs of our citizens are being met.”

While state agencies are being prohibited from hiring, OPEA is also calling for the immediate freeze to be applied to state contractors.

“State agencies have been asked to cut up to 10 percent of their budget each month,” Zearley said. “Now they’re being told that hiring additional employees is prohibited. We believe privateers, those who make money off the state, need to face these same cuts and have their contracts limited. Our state employees have dedicated their lives to public service and helping their fellow Oklahomans. Cutting private contractors is not only fair, it’s the right thing to do.”

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