State Employees Want to Slash Contract Costs, Not Payrolls

Friday, July 17th 2009, 5:42 pm
By: News 9

By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - State employees are calling for cuts to be made to third-party contracts instead of payrolls.

Members of the Oklahoma Public Employees association are calling for the cuts after the Corporation Commission decided to furloughed its about 400 employees one day a month.

"There is a terrible fear among state employees," said Mark Beutler, employee association spokesman. "State agencies have been cut to the bone as far as we can cut without it starting to affect the citizens of Oklahoma."

Beutler said employees fear that more agencies will furlough employees if state revenue continues to decline. To prevent furloughs or layoffs, Beutler said the association thinks that companies that contract with the state should begin making cuts and save the state money.

"If we are feeling the pain, they should also be feeling the pain," Beutler said.

Companies with state contracts disagree. NorthCare provides mental and substance abuse services for the state. CEO Randy Tate said the company is making cuts, just like the state.

"It might make headlines when the state does it, but our employees are constantly having to do more with less," Tate said.

OPEA says they are asking lawmakers to find money to stop the Corporation Commission furloughs.