State Education Department facing 199 employee layoffs

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 at 10:29 am by

Two weeks ago, Governor David Paterson’s director of state operations advised agency heads that the administration would be asking them to assemble plans for 8,900 layoffs of state employees due to failure to secure agreement with state public employee unions to make cost-saving concessions.  For example, the Governor’s proposed budget had assumed that scheduled salary increases would be deferred.

This week, the Governor announced that he was reducing the number of layoffs to 8,700 and was exempting management/ confidential employees because he was unilaterally rescinding a scheduled 3 percent raise for these non-unionized workers.

Yesterday, the Governor’s budget director assigned position reduction targets to each state agency, to be achieved by July 1. Elimination through attrition is permissible, but not likely to be sufficient to hit the targets.

The State Education Department is being asked to eliminate 199 positions.

This is almost one-half the Department’s General Fund workforce — the employees paid from general state revenues.  This seems like a disproportionately high target.  The 8,700 positions targeted across all agencies amounts to about 6.4 percent of the statewide General Fund workforce.

The total SED workforce is around 3,200 employees, including staff working with school districts, colleges, cultural institutions, and licensed professionals, as well as those working in the State Museum, State Library, State Schools for the Blind and Deaf, and adult vocational rehabilitation.

Most SED employees are funded from federal grants or fees paid by users of services.

General Fund positions are especially valuable because the Department has more flexibility in the roles they can be assigned to perform.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 at 10:29 am and is filed under New York Success Stories, State Budget. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.