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Community Comment

Spokane County Cuts Hours 15%

From the Spokesman-Review: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/apr/24/building-department-reduces-hours/

By: Jim Camden

Union votes to cut pay 15%.  Dozens of Spokane County employees are taking a 15% pay cut to avoid anyone being laid off.  Employees of a Spokane County department will switch to a 4 day work week.

Demand is down on construction projects. So now the department is making cuts.

Instead of lay offs the employee’s union decide to shoulder the burden as a whole. Everyone will take a 15% cut.

A union staff representative says there are a majority of people not at risk for the layoffs who still voted to save jobs.

The changes will affect about 40 people. The department will also reduce their work week to a 4 day work week. The department will now operate on a 32 hour week Monday through Thursday. The union also agreed to a week long furlough.

Each union employees’ health benefits, vacation, and sick time remain untouched despite the cuts.

The decision will be reviewed every month. The temporarily deal lasts through January of next year.


I don’t know about you, but I would gladly take a cut in pay rather than be laid off.  Both my sons have been laid off recently and my brother has been essentially laid off from his self-employed job as a contract software engineer because the main company he works for doesn’t have the job requests they did in the past.  One son just recently bought his little start-up first home.  My brother just finished building his house and now fears he will lose it.

We have all spent the last several years spending like we have no tomorrow, living beyond our means, buying toys and high-end products that could easily be replaced with low-cost items.  Now we are paying the piper.  But instead of losing our job totally - wouldn’t it be more efficient for both the employer and the employee to cut pay by a small percent?


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