Inside Opinion

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Tag: furloughs


Recession’s lesson: Pay now, or pay much more later

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Call them what you will – furloughs, temporary layoffs, reality catching up to state government, the Legislature balancing the budget on the backs of state workers.

By whatever name, the state’s plan to save $73 million by idling a third of its workforce on 10 separate days over the next year is better than the alternatives.

Union leaders may be fighting furloughs in court, but many of their members no doubt realize that staying home Tuesday is a small price to pay for having a job come Wednesday.

Furloughs preserve jobs, and the U.S. economy needs them. Signs that the nation’s economic rebound is stalling – among them a rise in jobless claims – underscore the importance of keeping people employed. Read more »


Downsizing state budget easier said than done

Our Sunday editorial about the governor’s plan to downsize state government made a vague reference to the “cacophony” she’s bound to stir. Actually, the hue and cry was already mounting well before she unveiled her plan last week.

The state is now fighting 50 lawsuits, grievances and unfair labor practice complaints from employees and their unions, according to Gov. Gregoire’s budget director, Marty Brown. Many of the claims arise from steps lawmakers have taken to balance the state budget, including layoffs and changes to employee health care plans.

Just last week, the Washington Federation of State Employees

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