June 22, 2010

BULLETIN: WFSE/AFSCME files grievance over furloughs

The Federation today (June 22) filed a grievance against the state to put the brakes on furloughs.

The union in effect charges the state with actually imposing “extra” furlough days because the 10 furlough days would supposedly net more savings than mandated in the furlough law. With no loss of funding or revenue shortfall, the state can’t impose all of the furlough days and violates the contract, the grievance says. 

The grievance signed by Federation Executive Director Greg Devereux also seeks to ensure that employees exempted by the furlough law are not forced to take furloughs. The union alleges the state has targeted some exempt employees for the furloughs.

The first of 10 mandatory furlough days is set for July 12.
The grievance responds to the state’s June 2 memo saying 23 agencies would not propose alternatives and would take the 10 furlough days in the law. Those agencies are:

Agriculture; Arts Commission; Commerce; Corrections; Criminal Justice Training Commission; Social and Health Services; Early Learning; Ecology; Employment Security; Fish and Wildlife; General Administration; Health; Health Care Authority; Human Rights Commission; Information Services; Labor and Industries; Licensing; Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises; Recreation and Conservation Office; Services for the Blind; Utilities and Transportation Commission; Veterans Affairs; and Workforce Training and Education Board.
The grievance alleges the state violated the General Government contract article on Layoff and Recall, specifically Article 34.6 on temporary reduction of work hours or layoff.

The grievance was filed with the state Labor Relations Office. To expedite the process, both sides agreed that the grievance will move directly to LRO Director Diane Leigh or her designee.

Check here for further updates as this grievance moves and other actions the union may take this week.

Meanwhile, members across the state this week are signing “Furloughs Hurt” petitions to the governor. You can fill out the petition online here.

That’s it for now.

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