The union that represents 7,000 Vermont state employees has agreed to a voluntary furlough program that will let some workers take at least 40 hours of unpaid time off a year as a way for the state to save money.
Terry Lefebvre of the Vermont State Employees’ Association’s non-management unit bargaining team says because the program is voluntary, it’s unclear how much money it will save.
The union began discussions with the administration of Gov. Peter Shumlin in January.
Lefebvre says some union members believe the program will allow them to take some much-needed time off. She calls it "a luxury" unavailable to them in the past few years due to all the cuts to services and the work force.