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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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No buyout? Avista insists its cost-cutting is a ‘voluntary severance program’

Sometime next month, workers at Avista Utilities have a choice to make. The company is looking to help incentivize workers to leave the utility, in order to cut something like $14 million from next year's operating budget.

Our first story on this offer is here.

But let's be a little more precise. The folks at Avista really really don't like us using the term "buyout."

When we inquired how many employees have indicated an interest, we were told the word buyout is not accurate. It is instead a Voluntary Severance Program.

Further, with the deadline for volunteers being Dec. 14, Avista has no plans to reveal how many workers take the buyout. Even though it's a publicly traded company, the rules don't require this sort of matter to be revealed in SEC documents or filings.

Avista has a total of roughly 1,500 workers. The offer has not been presented to about 600 union workers, said Avista spokesman Dan Kolbet.

The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.