SOURCE: Colorado WINS

Colorado WINS

October 27, 2009 20:41 ET

Statement From Colorado WINS Regarding New Round of State Employee Furloughs

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - October 27, 2009) - Colorado WINS, the representative organization for Colorado state government employees, announced disappointment today over the decision to impose four additional furlough days on state employees.

"When furloughs happen, we all pay a price," said Colorado WINS president Robert Gibson. "The state services we depend on come to a halt, and the families of workers that provide those services suffer further."

State employee furloughs virtually shut down vital state services, including those at the Departments of Motor Vehicles and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

"These furloughs are program cuts by another name," said Donald Gustin, CDOT Region 1 Heavy Equipment Mechanic and Colorado WINS member. "We were hoping instead that state agencies would follow the governor's call to find additional savings in places like consulting contracts without having to curtail important front line services that Coloradans rely on. I think this underscores how little room there is to solve the budget crisis by slashing services. The bottom line is that we need to decide what kind of state we want -- one where basic needs are met or one where guardrails go unrepaired."

Over 15,000 state employees will be affected by the furloughs, cutting deeper into the wages of working families. While the expected $13,000,000 in wage cuts means extreme hardship for working families, it represents less than three percent of the state's overall budget shortfall.

"We're talking small change compared with the overall budget shortfall," Gibson said. "The real solutions to Colorado's budget crisis lie in finding innovative ways to save in state government operations, and in expanding future revenue options for the state."