Furlough? Unpaid Vacation? Whatever You Call It, Denver Workers Are Getting the Shaft

July 8 2009, 1:12 PM

If you're in the governor's office or in Colorado's press corps, you're probably calling the upcoming leave of state workers, a measure to address hard times, a "furlough." But if you're a state employee, chances are you're probably thinking of the upcoming four days off in less euphemistic terms--like forced, unpaid vacation. All but the most essential services of the state government will shut down on Tuesday, September 8, an attempt at easing the ongoing budget crisis (via the Denver Business Journal). But the furloughs alone aren't enough. The state must slash $437 million from the 2009-10 budget. So far, all departments have been ordered to cut 10 percent, but Todd Saliman, Governor Bill Ritter's budget director, notified state agencies of the adjusted higher budget figure Monday, an indication that the situation is worse than expected, in line with the findings of a University of Denver report that states Colorado's budget is "on the verge of becoming unworkable" (via the Colorado Springs Gazette). The report questioned the state government's budget structure, saying problems could reach a boiling point by next year, when backup money won't be available to fix problems, according to the Denver Daily News.