Unions resist Kulongoski’s call for sacrifices

Governor Kulongoski has announced a $562 million shortfall in the budget, and his call for employee sacrifices makes unions bristle.

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The governor announced yesterday a $562 million shortfall, and ordered state agencies to cut their budgets by 9 percent.

Employee unions have already announced opposition to his calls for more sacrifices, and the governor’s call for agencies to meet with unions to grant concessions may not have the result he’d hoped for.

Under the contract they have now, state workers have had their pay frozen but will receive one salary increase on the anniversary of their hire date beginning next month. The contract also required workers to take 10 to 14 unpaid furlough days, depending on how much money they make.

“There’s no way we will reopen the contract to change that,” said Ken Allen, the executive director of Oregon AFSCME, which represents about 7,000 state employees. “That’s the only economic benefit our members got in this two-year contract.”

Read more at the Statesman Journal.

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