Skip to comments.Vanity--Why are public workers always furloughed instead of having their wages reduced?
Posted on 03/23/2013 10:30:46 AM PDT by Hebrews 11:6
Every time a government has a budget shortfall, the remedy is always to furlough or even to lay off workers. But all those workers could be retained and the job get done by simply reducing their pay-rates commensurately.
I understand that furloughing and laying off generates publicity and exerts pressure. But why does no one ever offer the pay-cut alternative? Why not, for example, an across-the-board 10% pay-cut?
I understand that many governments employees are stupidly permitted to belong to unions that can strike over pay issues, Wisconsin and Indiana notwithstanding, and that public-sector unions have contracts. Isn't it time to begin insisting that pay-cut provisions be written into these contracts?
Why do companies Lay off workers when the could reduce their work week or wages???
Furlough is a smoke and mirrors tool used for media consumption and low information voters. In reality it means nothing. “Furloughed” workers get some time off and when a new budget or continuing resolution is approved, they get back pay. In essence the crisis is an increase in their paid vacation time.
Furloughs do the job of cutting the expense without getting into a separation of powers dispute.
When an air traffic controller gets his hours cut from 80 per two week pay period to 70 per 2 week period, his pay HAS been cut.
Most of the furloughs have been implemented by cutting a day every 2 weeks or so through the end of the fiscal year. Most agencies aren’t sending folks home for a week or a month.
You’ve got a tension between workers who want to try to get the work done, and senior managers who want a disaster to make the Obama regime look good. It’s the opposite from a normal situation where things are the other way around.
For instance a furlough of one day in 20 means the “worker” gets 5% less pay.
It's a way around the collective bargaining and civil service rules which make government so inefficient.
Obviously, furloughs reduce pay, but they also reduce productivity. Keep them working by cutting their rate!
Interesting concept—thanks for your response. So, it would take concerted action by both the legislative and executive branches which avoiding judicial intervention. Not very likely....
Maybe because it’s a slow bleed that is painful for everyone. And rather than work for less money, it would be better for the affected employees to be free to look for a better paying job elsewhere.
I seriously doubt that we will get back pay. I would be shocked if we did.
This is different than a government shutdown furlough. The point is to reduce costs to meet the cuts we were given, so back pay would defeat the whole purpose.
I could be wrong, but I doubt it. We’ll see.
Civil Service rules passed by Congress virtually makes what you suggest impossible. Built in rules like if you change the job classification of a Federal Employee to a lower pay grade, they still get the same salary for 3 years, so it does nothing to cut pay. Then there are the appeal rights whenever pay is reduced. This isn’t based on Union contracts, this is Civil Service Law.
When I was in CA I called the Franchise Tax Board for a work related issue. A man answered the phone and let me tell him the whole story, then told me that it was furlough Friday and he didn’t know anything except to answer the phone, didn’t even take messages. I wondered why they were paying someone for that when they could have made a recording, then figured it was a union job to stick it to us greedy taxpayers.
I'm sure none of them are aware that my having fought a legal battle to win two major precedents in civil service administrative practices was, in effect, a multi-billion dollar accomplishment.
A lot of companies do reduce wages before laying people off.
The real solution would be to repeal much of the civil service law, and bar unionization of federal workers.
Lord. Help us all if you are a typical voter. I fear America with the likes of you around.
From my understanding of this furlough the DoD is cutting hours worked a week from 40 to 32 hours (4 workday week). Civilian workers will not be getting back pay for hey did not work and cannot use leave to compensate for the loss. This is not a shutdown furlough where they could work without pay or take leave till the budget is passed. The DoD has told workers if furloughed they can work a second job as long as it does not interfere or create a conflict of interest with their position. It will be tough times for the lower payed government workers, GS-9 and below, and those with families.
Because they have ALWAYS received their back pay when the furlough ends.