Lingle announces 2 furlough days a month for herself, Cabinet, deputies
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle announced at a press conference today that effective Aug. 1, her entire Cabinet, deputies, the governor herself and lieutenant governor will take two furlough days a month.
Lingle said the move, done through executive order, will save the state more than $1.2 million annually.
Lingle said the furloughs for her staff are in addition to the 5 percent pay cuts they took earlier this year.
For the department heads and directors, the two cuts combine for about a 13 percent reduction in salary this year, 13.7 percent next year.
“There is a strong sense among these leaders this is a time for shared sacrifice,” Lingle said.
The governor said she does not expect service to be reduced as department heads already work seven days a week.
The administration is continuing to negotiate with four worker unions for cost savings designed to help cut the state’s $786 million budget deficit.
Two weeks ago, Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled that the governor’s plan to unilaterally furlough state workers three days a month violated collective bargaining.
Lingle said her administration will continue to bargain in good faith with the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the United Public Workers, the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly.
“We will get through this and we will be stronger when we come out on the other side,” she said.