Mayor Parker Details Voluntary Furlough Plan for City Employees
Mayor Annise Parker today announced a voluntary furlough plan, as suggested by the Houston Organization for Public Employees (HOPE) union, for the current month to help alleviate the budget challenges faced by the City of Houston.
“While the City has been able to withstand the current economic crisis longer than most, we are now faced with budget challenges that force us to make tough fiscal choices,” said Mayor Parker. “I sincerely appreciate HOPE’s willingness to offer suggestions that will help the City as it works to find fiscally-responsible solutions for dealing with our ongoing budget situation.”
“While City of Houston employees are not to blame, HOPE is proud to be part of the solution to help close the City’s budget gap,” said Melvin Hughes, HOPE president and City of Houston maintenance mechanic. “As a member of the City’s workforce, I’m doing my part by taking a voluntary furlough day.”
Employees are encouraged to focus on utilizing days that are within the period of December 11 to December 24, as that is when payroll deductions are at their lowest for the year, thus helping to minimize the financial impact. City employees who volunteer are prohibited from performing any City work on a furlough day.
Under the City’s agreement with Houston Municipal Employee Pension System, employees were only able to receive up to five (5) credited service days for voluntary or involuntary furloughs. The Board of Directors of the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System took quick action in approving a change in this agreement so that up to ten (10) credited service days are allowed, eliminating any possibility of a negative impact on employee pensions in the event an extended furlough program is required in the New Year. City Council will be asked to vote on this change next week.
Through sufficient participation in this program, Mayor Parker hopes to limit the need for an involuntary furlough program for municipal employees during the second half of the 2011 fiscal year – January 1 to June 30.
( 回首頁 Houston eWIND )