July 30, 2010

It's time to blow the whistle on furloughs!

The second furlough day is coming Aug. 6. There’s growing suspicion – based on information many of you have provided – that more and more overtime is being approved to make up for work not done on furlough days when offices are closed.

We also know from legislative documents that the state loses $94 million in federal matching dollars by trying to save $48 million through furloughs.
With $480 million in federal FMAP Medicare matching dollars in doubt, the governor must choose between indiscriminate across-the-board cuts of 4 percent or calling legislators into special session to make more “surgical” cuts.

More and more, the phony furlough scheme seems to be playing out as a costly snafu by the Legislature, the governor and her agencies. And you and the public you serve are paying the 

But this is no time to turn down the heat. A hearing date is pending on the Federation’s unfair labor practice complaint. The separate grievance and lawsuit are still in play. And bargaining to mitigate the impacts continues.

And now it’s time to literally blow the whistle on furloughs, by using the state employee Whistleblower Program you created a few years back, the State Employee Suggestion Program run by the state Productivity Board and the governor’s own Budget Transformation website.

You can also go to the Federation website for more information and links on how to do this.

But here are the links and a few pointers:
  • Submit a “Brainstorm” idea to recoup the $94 million in federal funds lost to furloughs.

    The Washington State House of Representatives Office of Program Research on Feb. 22, 2010 (Agency Detail, page 167) showed a net loss of about $94 million in federal matching funds caused by furloughs. So furloughs may try to save $48 million, but actually end up costing the state more. This is inefficient.

    Go to http://www.sos.wa.gov/productivityboard/ and click on “Employee Suggestion Program.”

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