Monday, June 14, 2010

Some State Offices closing on June 18 for the day.

SALEM, Ore. — Because of budget reductions for state agencies, most state offices will close on June 18, and 26,500 state employees will take mandatory unpaid furloughs on that day, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) announced Wednesday.

The closure on June 18 is the fifth of 10 closure dates the state has scheduled over the current two-year budget period. Each day of closure will save an estimated $2 million in personnel costs, said DAS Director Scott Harra. While the closures affect both management and non-management employees, many state workers will take up to four additional days of unpaid furlough on a floating basis over the remainder of the biennium.

"We apologize for any inconvenience these closures might cause to the public, and we look forward to restoration of a full work schedule for all state agencies when the economy returns to its normal strength," said DAS Director Scott Harra.

Customers can still do business with DMV and some other state agencies online, even though the offices are closed. Harra encouraged the public to check agencies' websites to find out whether online transactions are possible on the closure day.

Harra said certain state employees who provide essential services in public safety will remain on the job as usual—State Police officers, corrections officers and certain state hospital workers, for example.

Last summer, the state's management team and the unions that represent state workers negotiated an agreement that specifies which days to designate as closure days. The negotiators took into account the need to minimize public inconvenience while keeping critical operations open and functioning.

The Oregon Department of Administrative Services has published information about Friday's closure and furloughs on the state's website along with a schedule of the remaining closure days. Members of the public can also find out which state offices will remain open on the closure days. Harra urged the public to check individual agencies' websites for additional information.

The state has scheduled the following dates as closure days with mandatory unpaid furloughs (all are Fridays):

October 16, 2009
November 27, 2009
March 19, 2010
April 16, 2010
June 18, 2010
August 20, 2010
September 17, 2010
November 26, 2010
March 18, 2011
May 20, 2011