State employees react to cuts

By Matt Butner - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Lunchtime at the Monroe Building brought news of yet another round of layoffs for state workers. Toni Curtis, a VDOT employee, senses a growing frustration among her co-workers.

"We're constantly being fed tidbits of information, but never the whole picture, and that only increases the employees' frustration and decreases morale," said Toni.

Dave Edwards works at the Health Department. He sees the cuts as an unfortunate product of the times.

"When you go to work for the state, you know this can happen. The state has to balance their budget, so you do the best you can," he said.

For some long-time employees, the uncertainty of the past year or so is an unfamiliar feeling.

"Never thought there would be a day when you'd have to be concerned about your job. You always thought state employment would be a steady job," Toni said.

The decline in job security is something state employees have been dealing with for months, and many are preparing for the possibility of losing their jobs.

"I have my resume up to date, and I have other options," said Edwards.

"My husband and I have a lawn and landscape business on the side, so we have a little something we can fall back on," Toni said.

Those who aren't laid off will have to deal with a mandatory furlough next May, but most agree it's better than no job at all.

"If that's a sacrifice we have to make to keep our jobs, then that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make," said Toni.

All of the sacrifices and uncertainty seem to be taking a toll on state workers. After all, this is the fourth time since 2008 that Governor Kaine has announced budget reductions to keep up with slumping revenues.

"State employees are at the point like, what's gonna happen is gonna happen. Just tell us what the plan is and let's be done with it," Toni said.

Some employees have already been informed that they will be laid off, and the rest will find out in the days ahead.

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