Every once and a while we have the good fortune here at Layoff Watch to announce some good news for the workers of the world. Today is one of those rare and pleasant occasions. The county of Luzerne was planning to layoff about 106 workers in order to balance their budgets. After a meeting this week a serious cut was made to this number of jobs being released. The council now has decided only to cut 56 workers.
The layoffs are changing because the council approved a two percent tax increase. The measures were not approved by a unanimous vote. Some of the member of the council voted against the tax increase, which will be an increase of about $10.50 for a property that is currently valued at $100,000.
Of course, this budget has to be done passed by one other authority, then the Luzerne County Council will be able to unveil the budget amendment. This must occur before the 15th of February.
This is not the first time that Luzerne County has resorted to laying off workers in order to balance their budget. In 2010 the county got rid of workers in order to make ends meets. For those of you who are missing our earlier coverage here is an excerpt:
“Due to a vote by the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board to outsource to outside companies, the county will now face layoffs for those employees currently in charge of the job placement and training programs for the unemployed and underprivileged youth in Luzerne and Schuylkill. The commissioners from the counties in northeastern Pennsylvania wanted to prevent this, but accepted Wednesday that they do not have the power to put a stop to the outsourcing. The Luzerne County Solicitor Vito DeLuca said Wednesday that the commissioners have no authority to intervene in the board’s decision. The outsourcing is to take effect July 1, according to the Times Leader.”
The county is unlikely to get any help from the state. The state of Pennsylvania, like most states, is facing its own budgetary problems. These problems recently resulted in the layoff of state troopers. For those of you who missed our earlier coverage here is an excerpt :
“At the current moment the Governor of Pennsylvania, Mr. Tom Corbett, has neither made an official statement, nor replied to media inquiries about the possibility of layoffs from the state police department. The union for the police officers however has already been put on notice by the administration that layoffs can be expected in the near future. This means that layoffs are very likely.
Bruce Edwards, the president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, was willing to give specifics to a reporter for Delaware County News Network Online and he expects some large-scale layoffs, “We are looking at 400 to 500 troopers being laid off.” He also told the reporter that they are getting ready for a few more radical changes to the way that police in the state are run. Some of the expected changes include:
– The closure of five state police stations (or barracks) though at this time the five to be cut have not been identified to the union.
– The elimination of new classes to the Pennsylvania State Police Academy. There will be no new cadets to come out of the school for at least the next 18 months. Traditionally, the academy releases 50 graduates per class.
– Extra job losses due to retirement slots that are not filled. This could actually represent a fair number of jobs, when you consider that in the next five years there is a significant portion of the force, about 30%, who are going to be coming of retirement age. That could represent a loss of about 1,500 positions to the force.
Or, as Edwards told the same reporter, “There is no other way to put it except that the layoffs are going to happen. I expect that 1,000 of those eligible for retirement will be going out, so what we will have is a situation where there will be layoffs, no new cadet classes and retirements.”
The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association currently represents about 4,400 state level officers in Pennsylvania.”Luzerne County to Cut Back on Layoffs by Harrison Barnes