State Employees face “shut down” days – some are exempt


Facing tough financial times, the State of Maine Legislature recently approved 20 furlough days for state workers to save the state nearly $14 million. Most of the shutdown days are near holidays. For instance yesterday, the Monday following Independence Day, most state workers stayed home to save some taxpayer dollars.

The Kennebec Journal offers this look at one state workers day off.

While these mandatory furlough days apply to most state workers. Some workers appear to be exempt, and will not be asked to stay home on those days. They will work as normal, and save the state nothing.

Some select workers, so called “tier 1” staff, will be exempt from these furlough days. HR staff for the state has said that the list of employees who are exempt, and will continue on their normal work schedule – is not available for general release.

The question is – who determines who is “tier 1” and “essential” enough that they should continue to work on days the state has designated furloughs to save you money? And, why wouldn’t the state release to the public who that list of “essential” workers is?