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State will institute furloughs in lieu of concessions

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder’s administration has ordered that 367 unfilled jobs with the state remain vacant. The order comes as a result of no bargaining agreement with state worker unions to cut costs.

The governor’s administration will order state workers to take four unpaid vacation days in the coming fiscal year.

Some say the furlough days won’t save the state as much money as expected.

If you shut down a DHS office that just means that thousands of people aren’t getting service that they need, and that just means that things are going to pile up the next day,” said Ray Holman of UAW Local 6000, which represents workers in the state Department of Human Services.

State officials and union representatives will continue to work for the next two weeks to come up with a deal for two years down the road. But Kurt Weiss of the state budget office says negotiations fell apart for the coming year.

 “You know, from the state’s perspective, we wanted to be able to achieve long-term structural savings, we weren’t able to do that. From the unions side, they feel like they’ve given enough. So obviously just the nature of that debate, there’s going to be some tension,” said Weiss.