Governor threatens to furlough workers 3rd day
Matthew Yi, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
Saturday, June 27, 2009
(06-27) 04:00 PDT Sacramento --
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger threatened Friday to force state workers to take a third unpaid day off each month beginning in July unless the Legislature approves a budget that solves the state's $24.3 billion shortfall by Tuesday.
The state's 210,000 workers are already forced to take two furlough days. A third would result in a total pay cut for each worker of 14 percent, saving California more than $2.2 billion in the new fiscal year that begins on July 1.
"It's clear that if the Legislature does not send a full budget solution to my desk by June 30, California will face an extreme cash-flow problem that will threaten our ability to pay for vital services," the governor said.
Schwarzenegger said imposing an additional furlough day would help stave off the state's cash crisis.
State worker union leaders said they were disappointed by the governor's threat.
"This is absolutely ridiculous. The governor has made us into budget scapegoats," said Nancy Swindell, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees AFL-CIO Local 2620 that represents 5,000 state health and social services workers.