241 removed from furlough list


POSTED: Sunday, September 20, 2009

The state has trimmed 241 part-time employees from the list of non-union workers ordered to take three-day-a-month furloughs.

Originally the governor's office was looking to furlough 900 administration employees, but it turned out some of the non-union workers were part-timers who will not be furloughed, according to Russell Pang, Gov. Linda Lingle's chief of media relations.

So the number of affected workers has dropped to 659, which reduces the amount of money to be saved from an initial estimate of $7 million to $10 million to about $6 million a year, Pang said.

The non-union furloughs started Wednesday.

The cuts come after Lingle imposed two-days-a-month furloughs on herself, Lt. Gov. James “;Duke”; Aiona, state department directors and their deputies.

Attorneys and their secretaries make up the biggest group of non-union furloughed employees. The deputies in the Attorney General's office and public defenders attached to Budget and Finance make up 45 percent of the furloughed.

The furloughs represent a 14 percent cut in pay for the employees, who were appointed to their jobs in the Lingle administration.

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Many of the furloughed employees contacted by the Star-Bulletin were reluctant to talk on the record about the furloughs or how they will deal with the order.

Others, like Mike McCartney, president of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said as an executive he is “;working all the time,”; so it was impossible for him to say when he is taking time off.

The governor's executive order on the furloughs notes: “;Furloughed employees will have flexibility to designate by request their furlough days and may accumulate furlough days and take them in combined periods.”;

The governor's office, for instance, will maintain regular work hours and remain open. “;Each department head is determining when the employees will take their furlough hours,”; Pang said.

When Lingle first announced a statewide furlough plan, she wanted to close most state operations, several Fridays a month, but when the courts overruled her plan, which included furloughs of union members, Lingle revamped it to include only non-union workers.

The governor warned in her executive order that furloughs would not protect non-union jobs, as there is always a chance of more layoffs: “;This Executive Order does not assure continued employment during the furlough period specified herein. Employees who are exempt from civil service and excluded from collective bargaining are 'at-will' employees whose appointments may be extended pursuant to applicable policies.”;


Affected non-union state employees:

Accounting and General Services 30
Attorney General (deputy AGs, secretaries) 186
Budget and Finance (includes public defenders) 110
Commerce and Consumer Affairs 45
Defense 63
Governor's office 47
Hawaiian Home Lands 17
Human Services 18
Human Resource Development 3
Health 20
Labor and Industrial Relations 24
Land and Natural Resources 10
Lieutenant governor's office 17
Public Safety 19
Taxation 12
Transportation 9
Total 659

Note: 13 furloughs at the Office of Elections were waived; instead the budget was restricted 14 percent.