Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 | 5:01 p.m.
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Gov. Brian Sandoval will propose state workers take a 5 percent pay cut over the next two years instead of the ongoing once-a-month furloughs equal to a 4.6 percent pay reduction.
In a letter to state employees, Sandoval expressed regret over having to make the cut, noting he and his staff will take the same reduction and that he revised a salary increase scheduled under the law.
"In my meetings with Cabinet officers, I heard consistently that the furloughs are difficult to manage," Sandoval wrote in the letter dated today. "They result in poor customer service and leave employees with unfinished work that awaits their return after a furlough day. He said he hoped that the flat pay reduction would result in "a trade-off in workload management."
Legislators in 2009 rejected former Gov. Jim Gibbons' proposal to reduce salaries by 6 percent, arguing that an unpaid day off was fairer to state workers. But department heads have complained about the difficulty of managing the time off, particularly at welfare offices, which have seen an increase in people requesting assistance during the Great Recession, and state correctional facilities.
Sandoval also said longevity and merit pay would continue to be suspended.
"You have expressed a willingness to continue to make sacrifices - provided others make them as well," Sandoval wrote. "I admire your service to our state and appreciate your willingness to work through these lean years."