POSTED: 1:24 p.m. HST, Jun 20, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 1:36 p.m. HST, Jun 20, 2010
WAILUKU>> Many government employees in Maui will be forced to take 12 unpaid days off in the next fiscal year to help the county save money.
The furlough plan, proposed by Mayor Charmaine Tavares and approved by the Maui County Council, is expected to save the county $3.5 million.
The plan calls for all civil service and appointed employees to take one day off per month over the fiscal year that begins July 1. The first furlough day will be July 16.
Firefighters and police officers are exempt from taking furlough time as they work under a separate contract.
Some public services, including garbage collection, will be adjusted to account for the furlough days. A county council meeting also had to be rescheduled because it conflicted with a furlough day.
Tavares, who is also reducing her pay by the equivalent of 12 furlough days, said the county worked with the leaders of the Hawaii Government Employees Association and United Public Workers unions to establish the furlough schedule.
"We have worked together to find ways to provide continuous services in those areas that impact public health, such as refuse collection and landfill operations, wastewater operations and water treatment plant operations," Tavares said.
She said programs including Meals on Wheels and the state Judiciary's court calendar also were considered when establishing the furlough schedule.
Furloughs have been used around the country to help governments save money or close budget gaps.