June 17, 2020 Comments Off on Washington Gov. Inslee Cancels State Employee Raises, Requires Furloughs Views: 429 Seattle & Pacific Northwest News, Seattle News, Top Seattle

Washington Gov. Inslee Cancels State Employee Raises, Requires Furloughs

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Washington Governor Jay Inslee directed state agencies under his authority to cancel a scheduled 3% general wage increase for many of the state’s highest-paid general government employees, and to begin furloughs for most state employees. The move was made to counter a severe downturn in the state’s revenue collections, and affects nearly 5,600 general government employees.

Most state employees are scheduled to receive the general wage increase July 1 as approved by the Legislature last year. But under Inslee’s directive, cabinet agencies will cancel the pay raise for agency directors, Exempt Management Service and Washington Management Service employees, and all other exempt employees who earn more than $53,000 annually.

Inslee says, “COVID-19 has hit our state hard and our economy has taken a severe hit as a result. These are very difficult decisions but they are necessary to address the financial shortfall that we are facing.”

Additionally, starting no later than June 28, more than 40,000 state employees will be required to take one furlough day per week through July 25. After July, employees will be required to take one furlough day per month at least through the fall.

The two actions together are estimated to save the state Near General Fund roughly $55 million over the next year.

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