Like Many New Jersey counties, Mercer is in the red. County Executive Brian Hughes has proposed voluntary furloughs for some of the 1,900 public employees. Here, he takes a page from california and more recently the state of New Jersey.
Governor Corzine has also proposed 2 furlough days for state workers – 1 in may and 1 in June. Of course those would NOT be voluntary. Communications Workers of America which represents 40,000 state workers says no way. If they can’t beat the Governor is court, they’ll file complaint with the NLRB. They claim it’s violation of their 4 year contract. Corzine asked the union to reopen the contract and take wage freezes. that was also a non-starter.
In Mercer Hughes says all options are on the table, but even he admits worker give-backs will not solve a $43 million hole over two years.
We know the economy is bad and governments at all levels are hurting…but it will be curiuous to see how much of that burden is shared by public employees. Clearly there are some parallels in all of these cases.