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Furlough consideration proper

January 23, 2010
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Cape Coral City Council is set to address another nip-and-tuck to the current budget Monday.

The city is contemplating another round of personnel-related cutbacks, a 32-hour unpaid work "furlough" for all non-bargaining unit employees.

If passed, the measure sponsored by Councilmember Bill Deile would save an estimated $202,897, or about .17 percent of the Cape's $122.8 million personnel budget, according to city figures.

In terms of percentages, it's a pretty small amount but two hundred grand isn't exactly petty cash, it is a significant savings.

Council is to be commended for continuing to address the budget crisis with cuts here and there.

The Cape's municipal employees, and bargaining units, should receive acknowledgment as well.

Changes to existing contracts, including furloughs, "tiered leave" and vacation day give-backs on the part of police and general employees in the so-called blue and white collar and supervisory units add up to nearly $1 million in concessions.

Add in wage freeze agreements, such as those accepted by the union representing city firefighters early last year that saved $350,000, and the elimination of numerous positions, and the city has made progress in winnowing back personnel costs.

Consideration of furloughs for those not yet included in the program is another proper step in that direction.

- Breeze editorial



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