the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, the Murphy’s administration announced on Thursday policy changes that would allow New Jersey government workers to take voluntary furloughs to avert layoffs as state tax collections plummet.
Facing a $10 billion budget shortfall , the Governor has warned of “historic” layoffs of public workers at all levels of government if the state does not borrow big sums or receive more aid from the federal government.
The state’s Civil Service Commission on Thursday evening said rules governing an existing voluntary furlough program have been relaxed to allow the state and local government employers to offer employees voluntary furloughs to avoid layoffs while maintaining their seniority and health benefits:
Voluntary Furlough (State & Local)
This program enables employees to take up to 90 unpaid days off each calendar year while continuing to earn leave time and seniority.
Employees need the approval of their agency in order to participate in the program. Furlough may consist of shorter work days, intermittent days off, or consecutive days off. It may NOT be used as a replacement for sick leave or disability leave, or to seek or engage in alternate employment.
The approval of the CSC Chair is required for Local agencies seeking to implement a voluntary furlough program. Employees should contact their Human Resource Officer for more information.
The voluntary furlough program is different from a job-sharing plan pushed by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, to cut some public workers’ hours and pay while allowing state and federal unemployment benefits to supplement their income.
Sweeney’s proposal (A4132) got big support from the state Legislature last week.