Pa state workers face possible no payday

July 28, 2009 8:46:46 PM PDT
Pennsylvania state workers went to Harrisburg Tuesday to vent their frustration and anger.These are some of the 33,000 state employees facing the prospect of a payless payday on Friday because of the ongoing budget crisis.

Protestors directed their anger at Governor Rendell and the state legislature.

Pay me. That's what they're saying. These are people who show up to work everyday put in their 8 hours and now they just want to be paid.

Barbara Kandybski and her husband Anthony live paycheck to paycheck. He's disabled and unable to work. They have little savings. And the likelihood she won't get paid Friday is daunting.

"It's terrifying everyday not knowing whether if I'm going to be able to eat, get to work, pay my bills."

Kandbybski, of Northeast Philadelphia, is among the thousands of state workers who traveled to the steps of the capitol today to protest Governor Ed Rendell and the budget impasse that's left them facing payless paydays.

"We're under contract. And we expect to get paid. We do not appreciate the governor holding state workers hostage because of their finagling in Harrisburg to get a budget," said Al Chavis.

Aja O'Neal is a young mother of an 11-year-old daughter. Two weeks ago she received only a partial paycheck and the bills are piling up.

"Right now I'm living on the savings I had. How long will that last? Not much longer but with God's help we'll survive."

The Rendell Administration tells Action News the Governor is considering a "bare bones" budget to allow state workers to get paid. It will need legislative approval. Few details have been released. But The Governor is expected to make an announcement Wednesday.

"We see no reason why we can't get paid. There's a mechanism in Harrisburg for that to happen and we want that to happen today."

Despite the threat of non-payment, Kandybski will be back on the job Wednesday approving applications for food stamps, a sad irony of this budget crisis.

"I process food stamps applications for a living and now one of them is going to be mine."

The governor says he can't pay state workers without a budget and cites the state constitution.