The Communications Workers of America and Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration have reached an agreement on public employee furloughs, the governor announced Tuesday.
“This agreement will provide substantial cost savings for the state and prevent employee layoffs,” Murphy said. “We have worked hard with CWA to maximize state savings while minimizing the financial impact on our employees.”
There are few details about the agreement. Murphy declined to give specifics about how many state workers would be furloughed, and he also declined to say how much money the state expected to save as a result of the agreement.
“Because this agreement is subject to employee ratification, I will defer further comment until that vote occurs later this week,” he said.
In May, Murphy’s administration made a policy change that allowed public employees to voluntarily furlough themselves and collect unemployment benefits to ease the strain on New Jersey’s coffers amid tumbling revenues and record-high unemployment rates.
It’s not clear whether the agreement Murphy announced Tuesday is similar to a job-sharing plan pushed by Senate President Steve Sweeney that the legislature sent to Murphy’s desk last month.
Under that plan, state workers would see their hours and pay cut, with partial furloughs allowing them to receive some unemployment benefits.