State Employee Furlough Agreement Progress

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

We know that all of you are aware that CWA and IFPTE reached an agreement to take furlough days in lieu of layoffs earlier this month and you have been asking whether AFSCME members will get the same agreement. We have met with the State several times over the past few weeks but we have not been able to reach an agreement on furloughs. The State has been asking us to give more than what other State employees gave and we will not agree to that. 

Why are we refusing to agree? 

  • The State is asking AFSCME members to take same 10 furlough days as other State employees. However, our members would not be able to take the 10 furlough days in July in a way that would allow you to collect unemployment and get the extra $600 under the CARES Act. CWA and IFPTE’s members, many of who have not been on the front lines, are able to do that.
  • Workers who received the COVID-19 emergency pay are exempt from furloughs under the CWA and IFPTE agreements. The State has not agreed to exempt our members who received the COVID-19 emergency pay from furloughs.


Our position to the State has been:

  1. This is unfair – AFSCME members have been the front line workers and are the everyday heroes of this pandemic. We should not have to take 10 furlough days like other unions especially when our members cannot collect unemployment and the extra $600 under the CARES Act like other unions.
  2. AFSCME members have sacrificed so much to keep patients, clients, and veterans safe. We are physically and mentally exhausted. Hundreds of our members working in State facilities have contracted the coronavirus and many have died. Many others have brought the virus home and infected their families. We will never agree to allow the State to exempt the workers from other unions who received the COVID-19 emergency pay from furloughs and not exempt AFSCME’s members who received thw COVID-19 emergency rate.

We understand that the State’s current fiscal situation is bad and AFSCME members are willing to share sacrifice to help the get through it but we will not be taken advantage of! We have been on the front lines during this crisis, understaffed and underequipped, the whole  time. Our members are physically and mentally exhausted and we deserve to be treated fairly. All the thank you’s that politicians give front line workers like us in State institutions rings hollow when they ask us to sacrifice more than others.

We recently submitted a proposal to the State that reduces the number of furlough days below the 10 days that CWA and IFPTE agreed to, and calls for our COVID-19 essential workers to be exempt from furloughs, just like the other unions. We are waiting for the State to respond to our proposal.

Once we have more information about the negotiations, we will update you. Thank you for your continued support during these difficult times and be safe.


In Solidarity,


Sandra Cherry   Shirly Suddoth- Lewis  Coral Dayon         Sheronda Swink

Local 150            Local 979                        Local 2208            Local 2209


Gerald Murray  Cortney Parker                 Tanya Gaddy     Awol Alhassan

Local 2210          Local 2215                        Local 2216          Local 2218


Gary Little          Ronald McMullen           Tara Myers         Sandra Herbert

Local 2220          Local 2222                         Local 2318          Local 3354