Ecker Plan Opposed

March 27, 1991

County Councilwoman Shane Pendergrass, D-1st, said Monday she will not support an administration request for permission to hold the line on salaries and to furlough county employees without a written guarantee by County Executive Charles I. Ecker that he will not lay off anyone.

Two of Ecker's aides told Pendergrass they thought such a guarantee would be impossible.

Pendergrass made her request at a council work session on four bills aimed at cutting expenses by eliminating raises and furloughing employees.

Budget administrator Ray Wacks and deputy county administrator Cecil Bray told the council that layoffs would be a last resort.

Pendergrass suggested workers be furloughed as much as 26 days in the coming fiscal year to keep everyone employed. She said she wanted workers to receive a 30-day notification of furloughs.

CouncilChairman C. Vernon Gray, D-3rd, said he opposed any furlough plan ofmore than 12 days.

Councilman Charles Feaga, R-5th, said furloughs should occur on county holidays so that no work days would be lost.Employees would have the holiday off, but wouldn't get paid for it, Feaga said.

Gray said he would like to put the 6 percent raise teachers will receive as part of a three-year contract "on the table."

Gray said that if teachers voluntarily went without raises for a year, no one in county government would have to be laid off or furloughed. The school board has said it will not abrogate its contract with the teachers.

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