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STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF THE BUDGET
DAVID A. PATERSON, GOVERNOR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 14, 2009
CONTACT: Jeffrey Gordon
jeffrey.gordon@budget.state.ny.us
518.473.3885

DIVISION OF THE BUDGET COMPLETES PRELIMINARY REVIEW OF WORKFORCE REDUCTION PLANS

Workforce Actions will Achieve Planned Savings, Substantially Reduce State Costs, Mitigate Potential Layoffs

The Division of the Budget today announced that its preliminary review of state agency Workforce Reduction Plans (WRPs) is complete. These plans are projected to achieve $260.3 million in savings over the next two years through a combination of severance payments, attrition, and the elimination of funded vacancies. These estimated savings are equal to the amount originally included in the state financial plan from these actions. 

“The voluntary severance program will achieve its objective – substantially reducing state costs at a time of unprecedented fiscal difficulty, while mitigating potential layoffs in a difficult economic environment,” said Budget Director Robert L. Megna. “We look forward to working with the Legislature in September to enact Tier V pension reform and provide further savings to state and local taxpayers.”

WRP savings will be realized through an overall workforce reduction of 3,722 positions in agencies subject to executive branch hiring management. A total of 2,633 positions will be reduced through attrition and the elimination of funded vacancies. Additionally, thus far, the state has authorized 1,089 individuals to receive targeted, one-time severance payments of $20,000.

These initiatives are part of labor agreements that Governor Paterson reached with the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) and the Public Employees Federation (PEF) to mitigate potential layoffs among their union members during a difficult economic environment, while also achieving necessary savings to address the state’s fiscal challenges. In addition to the implementation of Workforce Reduction Plans, the state is seeking further cost reductions as part of these agreements through its ongoing efforts to enact Tier V pension reform and encourage participation in the Voluntary Reduction in Work Schedule (VRWS) program among state employees.

Each individual authorized to receive a severance incentive must sign an “Irrevocable Letter of Voluntary Resignation” and leave the state payroll no later than November 11. To ensure that savings are achieved, workforce reductions resulting from the provision of severance payments will not be refilled.

Now that the initial savings goal for the severance program has been achieved, further action is under consideration for additional savings to taxpayers. As part of Governor Paterson’s continued effort to lower taxpayer costs, additional one-time $20,000 severance payments in excess of the 1,089 announced today and assumed in the state financial plan may be authorized to produce further savings. Agencies are encouraged to continue to aggressively seek cost-reductions through this program.

A breakdown of planned workforce reductions and authorized severance payments by agency is available at the following link: http://www.budget.state.ny.us/budgetFP/WRP_SummarybyAgency.pdf

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