City employee furloughs being proposed - WFSB 3 Connecticut

City employee furloughs being proposed

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City furloughs are being proposed as a way to combat the financial crisis (WFSB) City furloughs are being proposed as a way to combat the financial crisis (WFSB)

We are just a few days away from the end of the fiscal year -- and there are a lot of questions about how much money Hartford will receive in state aid, and some are even talking furloughs.

Furloughs are when employees are required to take time off from work without pay. 

It is a better option than laying people off permanently and it can help to save money.

What is different about this proposal is that it would target city employees who are higher level and thus higher paid.

Some council members are saying it is time for shared sacrifice.

"We think that if there's going to be cuts in the city budget, it should extend up and down the salary range with more at the top,” Hartford City Councilor Larry Deutsch.

He introduced the proposal, saying in order to avoid layoffs and to ensure that it is not just lower paid city workers like firefighters getting furloughed, it should include department heads and managers, including those in Mayor Luke Bronin’s office.

“We had a very simple idea. If you made around $60,000, you give six furlough days, if you make $110,000 you give 11 furlough days, and for those who make $150,000, they give up 15 furlough days,” Deutsch said.

Mayor Bronin's office has previously not warmed to the idea and had no comment on the matter.

“If you can spread it out, it's like having more people with more paddles when you're in the boats. Everybody digs in a bit and maybe you get to where you want to go with that,” said taxpayer Tim Healey.

Hartford is dealing with a $65 million budget deficit and admittedly these furloughs of higher level employees would amount to about a $400,000 savings.

Proponents say you have to start somewhere and every bit counts.

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