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Pitt State Employees Brace for Furloughs - KOAM TV 7

Pitt State Employees Brace for Furloughs

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS - When Tim Anderson broke both of his ankles in May, his wife, Connie Anderson, knew it would cause a strain.

"I was working two jobs," Connie said. "And because Tim needed somebody here at the house full-time with him, I took off one of my jobs for two to three months."

Tim collects a check through sick leave which would have lasted a couple of months.  

But the checks will stop Monday, if the proposed 280 furloughs to full-time PSU staff are needed.  

"I'll have no income. Nothing," Tim said. "I'll have to depend on others for my well being."

E.J. Torbett works as a facility specialist.

He said supervisors made a plan before Friday of which workers would be furloughed or reduce their workload to 16 hours for the upcoming week.

"All the guys at my shop have families except for myself," Torbett said. "So I volunteered to take the week off so they could work 16 [hours a week]."

PSU President Steve Scott expressed frustration shortly after notifying the furloughed employees -- a group which he is a part of.  

"Real disappointment that our faculty and staff would be put in this position and have uncertainty brought into their lives that they really don't deserve," Scott said. 

The 280 figure only accounts for full-time staff. But the furloughs will include an additional 250 students workers as well.

"We'll see the grass is going to get longer," Scott said. "The painting operations will cease. The carpentry work will cease."

And paychecks would cease.

"We were really dependent on Tim's paycheck," Connie said. "They yanked the rug right out from underneath of us."

Kansas' largest union for state employees says it will file legal actions against the state if it does furlough workers.

Rebecca Proctor of the Kansas Organization of State Employees said today that she will file actions the emergency furloughs take effect.

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