In the interest of full disclosure, let’s get this out of the way right away: my wife is a state employee, and she’s gonna get furloughed. 13 days into the state’s new fiscal year, it’s still not at all clear to her when she has to take the furlough days, or, even if her department really is subject to the furloughs.
Resistance is futile.
I’ve read everything the Office of State Employment Relations will let me read online, and one thing is clear: the guv and his 132 fellow-travelers in the legislature intend these furloughs to cover EVERY state employee.
Even Barry Alvarez.
Although, the King of Athletics has repeatedly groused to the local sporting press that it just doesn’t make sense or fit in with his coaches’ schedules and routines. But the folks at OSER (so I don’t have to type “Office of State Employment Relations” every time) have said these furloughs are intended to affect every state employee, whether they get their money from rich old white guys in Cardinal red sport jackets, or from Uncle Sugar himself in the form of grants.
If you haven’t been paying attention, because you’re not a state employee or not married to one, since the state has been spending more money than it takes in, there’s not enough money to go around, so they’re ordering 16 furlough days over the next two years. Lots of states are doing it. 21 to be exact, and the average number of furlough days per year is just over 12, so with 8, Wisconsin’s apparently doing better than many other states. OSER and the politicians try to make that clear.
In Hawaii, state employees are being handed out 3 furlough days a month….36 this coming year…and while there’s plenty of legal maneuvering surrounding Hawaii’s furlough plan right now, at least those folks can head to the beach no matter what day or month it is. If my wife winds up on a furlough day in January, I’m pretty sure we won’t spend it on the beach.
Connecticut, Maine, and Michigan have just picked the days on the calendar for furloughs. I’m not sure how that will work with folks like ER docs and critical care nurses. “Sorry, no emergencies today - we’re on furlough”, or whatever.
Here at El Rancho Morrissey, we’ll manage my wife’s 16 furlough days in the household budget over the next two years. Sure beats the kind of “furlough” my former employer laid on me, last November! You’re fired; Happy Thanksgiving. Not even a thank-you for 30 years.
If you’re a state employee, or are married to one, I feel your pain. Too bad the transportation fund has been raided to death and there’s no more tobacco settlement money to throw into the pot. But for folks like me, who were “furloughed” from their jobs and had to take the self-employment route to continue to generate income, there are no furloughs and no paid days off.
Life’s a beach, huh?