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Sep-13-2010 23:33TweetFollow @OregonNews
State closure day happens on Friday, September 17Salem-News.com
(SALEM, Ore.) - Because of budget reductions for state agencies, most state offices will close on Friday, September 17, requiring 26,500 state employees to take mandatory unpaid furloughs on that day, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) announced Wednesday.
The closure on September 17 is the seventh of 10 closure dates the state has scheduled over the current two-year budget period. Each day of closure will save an estimated $2 million in personnel costs, said DAS Director Scott Harra. While the closures affect both management and non-management employees, many state workers will take up to four additional days of unpaid furlough on a floating basis over the remainder of the biennium.
"We apologize for any inconvenience these closures might cause to the public, and we look forward to restoration of a full work schedule for all state agencies when the economy returns to its normal strength," said DAS Director Scott Harra.
State agencies will do everything possible to minimize any hardship the closures might cause, Harra added. Customers can still do business with DMV and some other state agencies online, even though the offices are closed. Harra encouraged the public to check agencies' websites to find out whether online transactions are possible on the closure day.
Some workers will stay on the job.
Harra emphasized that certain state employees who provide essential services in public safety will remain on the job as usual—State Police officers, corrections officers and certain state hospital workers, for example.
Unions, state negotiated which days to close.
Last summer, the state's management team and the unions that represent state workers negotiated an agreement that specifies which days to designate as closure days. The negotiators took into account the need to minimize public inconvenience while keeping critical operations open and functioning.
State websites offer information on closures.
The Oregon Department of Administrative Services has published information about Friday's closure and furloughs on the state's website (www.Oregon.gov), along with a schedule of the remaining closure days. Members of the public can also find out which state offices will remain open on the closure days. Harra urged the public to check individual agencies' websites for additional information.
The state has scheduled the following dates as closure days with mandatory unpaid furloughs (all are Fridays):
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