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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?


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS: furlough; publicunions; unions
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I'm advocating that a new dialogue should begin: pay-cuts rather than furloughs!
1 posted on 03/23/2013 10:30:47 AM PDT by Hebrews 11:6
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To: Hebrews 11:6

Why do companies Lay off workers when the could reduce their work week or wages???


2 posted on 03/23/2013 10:32:37 AM PDT by tallyhoe
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To: Hebrews 11:6

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.


3 posted on 03/23/2013 10:35:28 AM PDT by Baynative (Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.)
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To: Hebrews 11:6
union contracts...
4 posted on 03/23/2013 10:36:20 AM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Hebrews 11:6
public employee salaries are subject to laws ~ so, unless you want to just hand over determination of salaries to Governors and Presidents with no legislative oversight, you need to do something other than change rates of pay.

Furloughs do the job of cutting the expense without getting into a separation of powers dispute.

5 posted on 03/23/2013 10:36:44 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Hebrews 11:6

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.


6 posted on 03/23/2013 10:37:55 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: Hebrews 11:6
The furloughs are accompanied by a reduction in pay.

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.

7 posted on 03/23/2013 10:38:18 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin

Obviously, furloughs reduce pay, but they also reduce productivity. Keep them working by cutting their rate!


8 posted on 03/23/2013 10:40:48 AM PDT by Hebrews 11:6 (Do you REALLY believe that (1) God IS, and (2) God IS GOOD?)
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To: muawiyah

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....


9 posted on 03/23/2013 10:43:11 AM PDT by Hebrews 11:6 (Do you REALLY believe that (1) God IS, and (2) God IS GOOD?)
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To: tallyhoe

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.


10 posted on 03/23/2013 10:44:02 AM PDT by rabidralph (http://www.cafepress.com/westernwis)
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To: Baynative

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.


11 posted on 03/23/2013 10:46:05 AM PDT by SandyInSeattle (The Cardinals chose wisely.)
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To: tallyhoe

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.


12 posted on 03/23/2013 10:46:23 AM PDT by Help!
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To: PAR35

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.


13 posted on 03/23/2013 10:47:16 AM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: Hebrews 11:6
Don't cut someones pay that is under contract or they will sue you for the wages. Klinton shut the government down and most people got a week free vacation with full pay. I had to work as an “essential employee”. Reducing wages is considered a disciplinary action and needs some sort of hearing. Obama has approved small annual increases.
14 posted on 03/23/2013 10:50:49 AM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: Help!
Many of the private sector types here on FR have no idea that civil service laws exist. Then, too, they slept through the American History 'Pendleton Act' section ~

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.

15 posted on 03/23/2013 10:52:30 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: tallyhoe

A lot of companies do reduce wages before laying people off.


16 posted on 03/23/2013 10:52:51 AM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: Help!
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.

The real solution would be to repeal much of the civil service law, and bar unionization of federal workers.

17 posted on 03/23/2013 10:58:35 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Hebrews 11:6

Lord. Help us all if you are a typical voter. I fear America with the likes of you around.


18 posted on 03/23/2013 11:02:20 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: SandyInSeattle

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.


19 posted on 03/23/2013 11:06:05 AM PDT by Liaison
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To: Hebrews 11:6

Because they have ALWAYS received their back pay when the furlough ends.


20 posted on 03/23/2013 11:06:18 AM PDT by G Larry (Which of Obama's policies do you think I'd support if he were white?)
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