Those voluntary furloughs for city employees that Mayor Annise Parker announced last week? They just became not-so-voluntary.
City Council has given Parker approval to impose mandatory furlough days for the last half of the current fiscal year, beginning in January. The move is expected to save the city $6 million in its efforts to close a yet-to-be-determined, but huge, budget shortfall.
Parker will wait to see how many employees take voluntary unpaid furlough days before instituting the mandatory ones.
"Some employees may decide to take the next two weeks off. Some employees may decide not to take any time off. It is voluntary," Parker said. "Today is my furlough day. I may take some more furlough days depending on the schedule, but I wanted to clear that issue up."
Working on your furlough day kinda defeats the purpose, as far as we're concerned, but we're sure Parker is just setting a good example....that won't be followed by anyone but ambitious, show-offy staff members who will all but sport buttons saying "Ask me about working on my furlough day!!"
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More budget news is yet to come, of course, but we'll have to wait for details.