Thousands of state workers in SLO County affected by furlough plan

Thousands of state employees in San Luis Obispo County will be affected when a scaled-down version of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s furlough policy takes effect on Sunday.

The governor’s order, issued Wednesday, affects up to 5,200 positions in San Luis Obispo County, said Lynelle Jolley, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Personnel Administration.

Those employees will be required to take three unpaid days off per month. And, unlike the previous furlough order – in which state workers were furloughed a total of 46 days, equaling an about 14 percent pay cut – this one does not have an end date. It will end when lawmakers pass a 2010-11 budget.

About 156,000 employees statewide are covered by the new program, in an effort to reduce the state’s monthly payroll costs by about $147.2 million a month, according to administration officials.

Roughly 73,000 employees statewide are expressly excluded based on where they work or their unions’ labor contract status.

That includes CHP and Cal Fire employees in San Luis Obispo County. The governor also excluded workers at state universities and community colleges, instead requesting they implement similar cost-saving measures.