Here’s Your Furlough, Governor Paterson

Monday is furlough day.

I’ll spend the time spreading mulch in the garden. Taking the day off may sting a bit, but it’s nothing compared to the trouble it will cause people struggling to make ends meet. They’re getting screwed.

No, if it’s my duty to help save the taxpayers some money, you won’t hear a complaint from me. But what about you, David Paterson?

This was your idea, so maybe you’d consider giving up a day of your salary. Leading by example sends a powerful message. If you take the same hit you’re asking of the state workers, there might not be so much ill will.

Cynics would call it an empty gesture, but a little symbolism goes a long way. It’s certainly better than what you’ve got going on now. Run it by somebody in your press office.

In case you’re curious, I took a job at the State of New York less than a year ago because it seemed a little more secure than working in TV. The way things are these days, I’m grateful to be working. Missing a day or two won’t kill me.

18 thoughts on “Here’s Your Furlough, Governor Paterson

  1. I’m with Kevin. Given the budget crisis, I wasn’t going to complain. in fact, I’m one of the state workers (maybe one of the few) who thinks that the union should decline the 4% raise this year, so that we wouldn’t have furloughs or layoffs (probably inevitable anyway). But now, I have to re-think. Giving the staffer raises is offensive to me and it undercuts the Gov’s entire argument for *any* solution involving state workers, IMO.

  2. A complete disgrace giving raises and furloughing State Employees, they said this could go on for up to eight weeks, that’s a mortgage payment for a lot of people, this is unbelievable

  3. Rob, I’ve been saying that over and over again.

    Patterson received a salary of $175k in 2009. He’s the governor of New York, unfortunately. Therefore, his expenses are paid by the taxpayers (living, food, travel, etc…). So why does he find it acceptable to receive an outlandish salary, when yet he’s calling for everyone else to cut back?

  4. Rob, I’ve been asking him to forfeit his salary for over a year now. He never responds.
    Personally, I’m hoping he just accepts my offer to bare-knuckle box me and sell tickets to offset the deficit.
    I think that’s a win-win fundraising opportunity for everyone.

  5. I don’t really think it is fair that he is doing this, but I can imagine the other alternative would be much worse. It definitely will be a struggle for those already living paycheck to paycheck, but it’s better than a huge round of layoffs.

    As for Paterson giving his staffers raises and keeping them out of the reach of the furloughs, that is total BS. Maybe they should cut the pay of the lazy Senators that can’t be bothered to get this budget passed. If you or I were leaving work early, or not showing up at all, let alone, not getting the job done, we would have been fired long ago. Why do they get away with this behavior?

    Another thing that bothered me was the protest by the state workers. I understand that you are upset by the furloughs, but taking a day off work unpaid to protest being forced to take days off makes is quite hypocritical. You’re only hurting yourself.

  6. Michael, the state workers who attended the rally did so on their lunch hour, or charged the time to accrued vacation or personal leave. I think we can agree that if people choose to spend their vacation time at a rally, that really is up to them.

  7. I’m perfectly happy with giving up this year’s raise…. IF there is some assurance that the governor will make a legally binding agreement to not have these shenanigans (furloughs, extra lag pay weeks, etc.) during this.

    P.S. We’re already on a two week pay lag. If a new worker who starts working on the beginning of the pay period, you won’t get your first paycheck for four weeks after your first day of work. Another pay lag week would push this off to five weeks. I was putting everything on credit for a month when I started working for SUNY. My rent certainly was not on a pay lag…

  8. Paul C @ 9-Don’t forget the day’s pay that’s held back from your first 5 paychecks when you start with the state, on top of the two week pay lag, to be repaid when you leave service. If you’re not living off of your parents, this is a big deal.

  9. Not only should the Governor consider taking a furlough, but he also should reduce is State Police Security force which totals 200 with an budget that is extremely high. That would really send a message to the people.

  10. The rally was at noon and the participants used their lunch break and could charge their accrued personal time for any extra time it took. So it was PAID time off.
    And I totally agree that the Gov should participate in the furlough. Especially since its so “convenient” that his staffers have withdrawn their raises and he says the unions should follow their example. Those being furloughed should follow his example and he should do it too!

  11. YOU hit the nail on the head Rob – you’re grateful to be working.
    That’s what the state workers need to remember. They’re lucky to be employed. TRUST ME – the job market out there is not a good one.
    I would gladly take a state workers position with the furlough right now. Honestly – it’s a temporary furlough and most people I know are always complaining they don’t have enough time in their week with their family – so there ya go! 3 day weekend – enjoy!!

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