N. Carolina transportation department furloughs employees

State News

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Department of Transportation told its employees to take unpaid time off until the end of June to help the department save money as part of cost-cutting measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

The department’s 9,300 employees will have until June 26 to take 20 hours of unpaid time off, Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette wrote in an email to employees on Monday.

The furloughs will also affect the department’s executive and senior leadership teams, who will take unpaid leave this week and next week before other employees begin their furlough requests on May 30, news outlets reported.

“The current pandemic situation continues to impact our business significantly,” Boyette said in the email. The department gets its funding from a tax on car sales, a gasoline tax and from fees collected by the Division of Motor Vehicles. It has seen revenue decline from these sources as people stay home during the virus outbreak.

Greer Beaty, the department’s deputy secretary for communications, told the News & Observer that the furloughs will save the department about $7 million.

The department had announced last month it was developing plans for furloughs to help offset an expected budget shortfall of at least $300 million for the fiscal year ending in June 30.

They have also laid off temporary and contract workers and stopped a number of construction projects as part of their cost-cutting measures. The department said no decisions have been made about additional furloughs for the next fiscal year.

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