Personnel Cabinet
Personnel Cabinet approves furlough plan flexibility Plan maintains public safety, supports inpatient care

Press Release Date:  Thursday, August 26, 2010  
Contact Information:  Crystal Pryor
502.517.6046
 


Personnel Cabinet

Office of the Secretary 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: 
Crystal Pryor
502.517.6046

Personnel Cabinet approves furlough plan flexibility Plan maintains public safety, supports inpatient care

FRANKFORT, Ky. (August 26, 2010) – In an effort to ensure public safety and support inpatient care,  Kentucky Personnel Cabinet Secretary Nikki Jackson today approved limited requests for exemptions to the state employee furlough plans for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and Cabinet for Health and Family Services.   Employees who serve in critical public safety or mental health care positions will not be required to participate in furloughs.

“Our desire to achieve savings and meet our obligations to provide key services and protect the citizens of Kentucky is now, and will remain, paramount throughout the review of each furlough plan, said Sec. Nikki Jackson. “The approved plans signify how each agency will achieve savings while continuing the necessary services provided by state employees.”

Approved limited exemptions
State agencies that operate 24-hour/7 day-a-week facilities, including mental health, correctional facilities and law enforcement functions, submitted furlough plans proposing flexibility in order to continue the services offered by these state employees.

• Mental health personnel:  In the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, the employees who provide direct patient care at state run mental health facilities will not be furloughed to assure appropriate patient care and safety in these facilities.

• Corrections officers, medical personnel at prisons:  In the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, Department of Corrections, the employees who ensure safety, security and medical needs at 24/7 facilities will not be furloughed to preserve public safety.

• Kentucky State Police officers and communications personnel:  In the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, uniformed law enforcement officers and telecommunicators in the Department of State Police will not be furloughed to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Authority to exempt
Language provided in both the budget bill passed by the General Assembly and in the regulation filed by the Personnel Cabinet, provides for a potential exemption for job classifications directly responsible for the care or safety of inmates or residents in 24-hour correctional or juvenile justice facilities; residents in 24-hour mental health facilities; and uniformed law enforcement officers or trainees that are required to protect the lives and safety of the citizens of the Commonwealth. 

Executive Branch furlough plan
On July 9, 2010, Sec. Jackson outlined a six-day furlough plan to include three common days during which state offices will be closed. Those days are adjacent to existing state holiday weekends – Friday, Sept. 3, 2010 (Labor Day weekend); Friday, Nov.12, 2010 (Veterans Day weekend); and Friday, May 27, 2011 (Memorial Day weekend). In addition, employees will be furloughed for one day in each of the months of October, March and April. 

The six-day furlough plan for Fiscal Year 2011, was authorized by the 2010-12 biennial budget passed by the General Assembly. The furlough days are expected to save approximately $24 million for the first year of the biennium and prevent 413 state employees from being laid off. 

Future furlough plan approvals
The Personnel Cabinet will continue to review furlough plans over the next few weeks. Approved plans may include limited exceptions for flexibility in order to minimize the disruption of services to the public while maximizing savings.  Additional flexibility requests for exceptions will require affected staff to be furloughed on an alternative date within that same month.

Approved plans will be housed on the furlough website and communicated to employees by their cabinet or agency.  Employees who have further questions about the implementation of the plans are encouraged to visit http://personnel.ky.gov/furlough to find updated frequently asked questions and answers, and are encouraged to speak with their agency’s human resources administrator. 

 


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