In a memo to county employees yesterday, county executive Armond Budish announced that full-time non-union workers will have to take 80 hours of furlough, spread out over multiple pay periods, as the county anticipates a severe drop in revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are experiencing an unprecedented drop in revenue which is a big component of what allows us to continue our daily operations," Budish wrote. "While we do not yet know the extent of the losses, we do know that they are going to be very significant. My goal is to make sure that we remain fiscally responsible while maintaining critical and mandated services. In order to do that, we are going to have to make some hard choices. The decisions we make now will, I hope, make it so that we don’t have to consider even more difficult employment and service decisions down the road."
The county also announced changes to its paid leave policies, including that emergency paid leave could be used before using sick time,
"We know that this communication will leave you with many questions which we intend to answer in the coming days and weeks. As you know this situation is ever changing and we are continuously evaluating our position and taking the necessary next steps as quickly as possible," Budish wrote. "We will be issuing more thorough outlines as well as question and answer overviews soon.
Please know that I appreciate your work, understand that this presents a hardship on many and that I am trying to stave off any further impacts on your livelihood. We are in unknown territory and the situation is incredibly fluid. My commitment to you is ongoing, transparent communication."