State Looks To Avert Shutdown-Related Layoffs

Oct 15, 2013

Credit DavidWilson1949 via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is getting ready to furlough some state workers whose salaries depend on federal funding.

The Hassan administration and the union that represents most state workers have reached a deal that both sides say will prevent layoffs.

Under the agreement, the federal shutdown qualifies as a “emergency” that will allow workers to be furloughed rather than laid off. State Employees Association president Diana Lacey says the deal holds the promise of saving the state money and saving workers benefits that would be lost if they were laid off.

"The Governor's office said we don’t want to violate the contract and we don’t know when the shutdown is going to end. And I think it was a no brainer for us. I met with our board of directors last week and they voted unanimously to support this, and everybody is just sort of focused on where we’ve got to go."

The state has been using what the Governor’s office called “carry-forward funds” to stretch availiable federal dollars, but if the shutdown continues some state programs will run out of money by month’s end.