Governor David Ige announced on Wednesday that he will impose a two-day vacation per month for most labor union workers from January 1 to balance the budget, which amounts to wage cuts of just over 9%.
General trade unions insist that any leave must be negotiated, and they have yet to agree to Eiji’s leave.
In a message to state employees on Wednesday, Iggy said, “I have directed state agencies to prepare for most state employees’ leave for two days every month starting January 1, 2021. My government members and I volunteer to reduce our wages by the equivalent of the vacation savings. If the leave is valid for a year, it will save This is for the state’s general fund about 300 million dollars. “
Igg said it is imposing the holidays as part of a larger plan to deal with a budget deficit of $ 1.4 billion annually for each of the next four years.
Iggy said in his statement: “I take this step with a heavy heart, because I know it will cause hardship for you and your family.”
In his statement, Ige said the leave will not apply to jobs that support jobs required to work 24/7, and to jobs with non-public funding sources.
I will be assessing the need to continue the holiday on an ongoing basis so that we can adapt to the economic impacts including a faster-than-expected economic recovery and increased tax revenue. Ig wrote the leave will be canceled once it is no longer needed.
AG The first to suggest the idea Holidays for public sector employees in April, when he presented union leaders with a leave scheme that would amount to the equivalent of many public servants’ salary cuts of 20%.
The unions were fiercely opposed to this idea, and Iggy repeatedly delayed the implementation of any leave plan. However, be warned Reducing public sector wages is inevitable Unless the state gets additional federal aid.
Hawaii has received more than $ 10 billion in federal CARES Act funds to help with the pandemic, but those funds cannot be used to cover the state’s budget deficit.
The Ige administration instructed state departments to draw up plans to cut the budget by 10%, 15% or 20% of their spending, depending on the department, and informed the general trade unions that the goal is to cut $ 600 million from the operating budget for the next year.
In a disclosure to bond investors last month, the administration announced that the nation’s annual tax collection had suddenly fallen from an all-time high of $ 7.14 billion to $ 6.69 billion in the last fiscal year. Tax collections are expected to drop to about $ 5.96 billion in this fiscal year ending on June 30.
Tax collections are expected to rebound to nearly $ 6.5 billion in the fiscal year beginning on July 1, but no one can be sure of that.
The Hawaiian economy actually performs next year on a host of unknowns such as rates of COVID-19 infection on the mainland, vaccine approval and release, response to the crisis by Congress and President-elect Joe Biden, and the public’s willingness to travel.
Ige has already tapped into the state’s “rainy days” budget reserve fund, selling nearly $ 750 million in short-term general commitment bonds in October to borrow cash to help fund state government operations in the near term.
He also used his emergency powers to defer the $ 388 million the state was supposed to pay this year to pay future healthcare liabilities for public sector workers. Looking ahead, Ige plans to seek permission from lawmakers to delay another four years of similar payments for future healthcare obligations, totaling $ 1.85 billion in savings.
This is a developing story. Check back at a later time for updates.