Oregon Union Agrees to Two Weeks of Furloughs

Oregon state workers are facing 10-14 unpaid furlough days over the next 24 months under an agreement negotiated by the union representing them. The contract also calls for a wage freeze delaying a scheduled step pay increase.

All workers will also be giving up their cost-of-living increase during the 2009-2011 contract period.

The contract deal applied across all agencies will save the state about $71.5 million.

The number of furlough days a worker must take will depend on their pay grade. Lower paid workers will take 10 days, while others will take 12 or 14 days. Some state agencies will shut down completely on certain days, while others will have workers take furloughs on a floating basis.

OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley commented on the news. “This shows the extent of the problems facing many states around the nation, not just Oklahoma. It doesn’t matter if you have a union contract or not, state employees are facing difficult times and states are cutting employees positions, salaries and benefits in an effort to balance the budget. It is time for Oklahoma’s state employees to all get behind OPEA’s efforts to make sure the FRONT LINE IS NOT THE BOTTOM LINE.”

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