Unions Reassure PA State Workers, No Lapse in Benefits If Budget Stalls

Jun 08, 2006, 01:00 ET from AFSCME Council 13

    HARRISBURG, Pa., June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Labor unions representing
 Pennsylvania state employees remain highly optimistic that a budget will be
 in place by July 1. The unions are now working with the Commonwealth to
 calm the fears of workers who recently received notices of their "furlough
 status" in the event of a budget impasse.
     "One of the biggest concerns of our members was the possible loss of
 healthcare benefits," said David R. Fillman, Executive Director for Council
 13 of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal
 Employees, which represents more than 45,000 state employees. "We are
 working out an agreement where healthcare benefits will continue for all
 furloughed employees."
     In addition, furloughed employees will continue to accrue seniority,
 and those who are temporarily transferred into lower job classifications
 will not receive a decrease in pay, Fillman noted.
     "There's a rumor out there, claiming that furloughed employees would
 not be eligible for their July 1 or January 1 increment increases. This is
 absolutely untrue," said Fillman.
     Web site: http://www.afscme13.org