Pa. Paying Workers Idled by Budget Fight

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 26, 2005

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The state will pay a day’s salary to the 24,000 workers who were idled when the government partially shut down over a budget impasse, Gov. Ed Rendell said Wednesday.

The employees who were furloughed on July 9 would have lost wages totaling about $3.5 million, according to Rendell’s office. That day now will be considered a paid closing day, akin to a snow day.

“State employees work very hard to ensure that the needs of Pennsylvanians are met, and they and their families rely on their paychecks to pay their bills,” Rendell said in a statement. “It is fair and reasonable that they be paid for the hours they didn’t work due to the furlough.”

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The announcement came one day after the governor signed the $27.2 billion spending plan that had been delayed two weeks into the fiscal year. The one-day closing hit non-essential services, shutting down state parks, driver’s license centers and state-run historic sites.

“The governor has done the right thing for all employees who were kept from their jobs,” said David R. Fillman, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 13.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)