(Washington DC) – Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray received his official furlough notice along with other District Government employees. In order to be furloughed, a period of non-duty, non-pay status, Mayor Gray was required to waive his compensation for the four holidays set forth in The Balanced Budget Holiday Furlough Emergency Act of 2011 that was unanimously approved by the Council on Tuesday, February 1, 2011.
“Like other employees, I believe it is only fair that I too share the sacrifice,” said Gray. “It’s the right thing to do. In these challenging times, we all must be willing to share the burden and shoulder the responsibility when public interest demands it.”
Under the District’s Charter, the Mayor’s salary cannot be decreased during his term unless he signs a waiver to permit the action. Gray signed the waiver today and the action became effective immediately.
The Balanced Budget Furlough Emergency Act of 2011 implements the city’s Budget Request Act that was introduced last year when Mayor Gray was Chairman of the Council. It authorizes the government to furlough full and part time employees for 4 legal public holidays. Those holidays include President’s Day on Monday, February 21, D.C. Emancipation Day on Friday, April 15, Memorial Day on Monday, May 30 and Independence Day on Monday July 4.
Several groups are exempted from the furloughs including, uniformed members of the Metropolitan Police Department, emergency medical services personnel of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department and employees in agencies with positions subject to a court order that specifically excludes such positions from furloughs.
Furloughs as an option to help save costs were first introduced in December 2010 by then Chairman Gray. According to DC Personnel regulations, a furlough can be conducted when “required for budgetary reasons” and with appropriate written notice to each affected employee. As part of the Fiscal Year 2011 $188 million gap-closing plan passed in December 2010, the Council approved a specified cost savings of $19,322,000 to be achieved through a District-wide furlough of District government employees, with some exceptions to ensure public health and safety, on 4 designated legal public holidays during Fiscal Year 2011.
For more detailed information and the proposed ruling amending the furlough provisions of Chapter 24 of the D.C. personnel regulations, Reduction In Force, visit the D.C. Department of Human Resources’ HOMEPAGE link at www.dchr.dc.gov; under the heading “DCHR News.”
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