Hennepin County News

Voluntary Cuts: Hennepin County Meets Its Savings Goal!

Hennepin County asked its workers this spring to cut hours voluntarily and take less pay to help close a budget gap. Looks like that's paid off. County officials say about 3,900 workers, about half its workforce, agreed to take Special Leave Without Pay  through the end of the year, generating roughly $4 million in savings. That's about 105,000 hours off the books between July and December. Together with some other scheduled unpaid leave, the county met its goal of $4.5 million in savings without ordering hourly cuts.

The county expects to continue the voluntary hour cuts. With future budget struggles looming, it's not clear if that will be enough to stop mandatory reductions. But so far...

A Message From Local 34 President, Jean Diederich (6/2/2009)



Banking of SLWOP Possible

Because employees may not want to use SLWOP in small amounts and cannot afford to take full days or multiple days without pay in one pay period, banking of SLWOP will be permitted within HSPHD. However, the employee must be able to outline their plan for using the hours prior to the end of the year - only SLWOP used saves the county dollars. According to the county, use of the voluntary special leave without pay program by all employees is critical and will help maintain county operations by providing short-term savings to address the immediate 2009 budget shortfall, delaying additional layoffs, saving property tax dollars and delaying service cuts and/or reductions. This program affects everyone and no area is exempt from participation in SLWOP - even those with special funding, 24/7 operations, essential services or areas that are already operating with vacancies.

Coding Your Timecard:
SLB = used non-banked SLWOP hours
SLA = bank SLWOP hours  (to be used in the future within 2009)
SLU = used banked SLWOP hours

If you have questions about coding your timecard, contact your payroll representative.