Categorized | Government, News

State furlough plan begins Friday (Oct 23)

Most State Offices to Close Two Fridays per Month

HONOLULU – Following the ratification by Hawai‘i Government Employees Association (HGEA) members of a new two-year contract, Governor Linda Lingle today announced details of a plan that calls for two furlough days per month for the next 20 months for state employees that will start on Friday, October 23, 2009. To minimize the impact on the public, most state offices will close all or portions of their operations on two specified Fridays per month (See attachment B).

Under the plan, in accordance with the new HGEA contract, full-time state employees under the Governor’s jurisdiction will be placed on furlough for 18 days for the remainder of fiscal year 2010, beginning October 23, 2009 and continuing through June 30, 2010; and 24 days of furlough for fiscal year 2011, starting July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. Part-time employees will be placed on furlough on a pro-rated equivalent basis.

The furlough plan applies to HGEA employees in the Executive Branch including 16 state departments and their attached agencies. In addition, the plan applies to non-union “exempt excluded” employees in the Executive Branch. Exempt excluded employees who have been taking three furlough days per month since Sept. 16, will now conform to two furlough days per month as reflected in the new HGEA contract.

“Our focus in developing the furlough plan was to ensure State government offices continue to provide the best possible service to the public under the current fiscal circumstances,” said Governor Lingle. “I have every confidence that our dedicated State employees will do whatever they can within their operations to minimize disruptions in services. We appreciate the public’s understanding and patience as our employees make the necessary adjustments in their work schedules.”

While most State offices will close on two specific Fridays each month, some departments and agencies will follow different furlough schedules and remain open to ensure the public is able to conduct business and meet deadlines. These include Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority (Attachment C), Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (Attachment D) and community health centers (Attachment E).

Other offices will maintain their current hours of operations and will stagger or rotate furlough days to minimize impacts on their operations. These include the Office of the Governor, Office of the Lt. Governor, Bureau of Conveyances, Halawa Animal Quarantine Station, Airport Animal Holding Facility, plant quarantine inspections at state airports and harbors, Department of Defense (including State Civil Defense and the Office of Veterans Services), Department of Transportation (H-3 Tunnel operation, freeway lane coning, Zipper lane operation and Freeway Patrol Service; Harbors, Highways and Airports 24/7 operations) and Foreign Trade Zone #9. Small boat harbors and most State parks will remain open to tenants and the public during the furlough days, and conservation and resource enforcement activities will continue under current operations.

Operations that require round-the-clock coverage due to the clientele they serve and responsibilities they handle will remain operational on a 24-hour basis and will stagger or rotate furlough days. These include Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i and Hale Mohalu Hospital operated for Hansen’s disease patients; Hawai‘i State Hospital; Hawai‘i Youth Correctional Facility; correctional facilities and community correctional facilities statewide; and geothermal drilling engineering.

This furlough plan does not apply to the Judiciary, Department of Education, University of Hawai‘i or the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation.

The detailed furlough plan and schedule can be found on the Governor’s Web site (www.hawaii.gov/gov). In addition, each department will post modified days/hours of operations for their respective divisions and attached agencies on their web sites.

Members of the public who conduct business with the State should call the appropriate office or check their web sites for specific furlough information.

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