Corzine can now furlough workers

March 25, 2009 12:43:39 PM PDT
New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine has been given the authority to force state workers to take unpaid furloughs. The state's Civil Service Commission adopted an emergency rule Wednesday giving state and local governments the authority to order temporary layoffs.

The commission says worsening fiscal conditions made the action necessary.

Corzine has called on public employees to give up their negotiated pay raise of 3.5 percent and take one furlough day a month beginning in July. The governor has threatened to lay off up to 7,000 state workers unless he can save $500 million through wage concessions from state worker unions.

Four people were arrested at Wednesday's commission meeting, which drew an angry crowd of several hundred union members.

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