County begins employee furloughs

Union County government began to furlough groups of employees for a two-week period beginning Monday, April 27, as a result of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, April 21, Union County Board of Commissioners chairman Max Miller, along with county administrator Angie Johnson and county human resource director, Angela Knupp met with elected officials and department heads to discuss the matter.

Details were announced in a news release which was issued Friday, April 24, by the board of commissioners.

Johnson and Knupp presented officeholders with a plan to furlough approximately half of their staff for two weeks. Thirty-three employees will be furloughed.

Those employees would then return to work and the other half would be furloughed for the next two weeks. 

Furloughed employees will continue to receive health coverage and other benefits they currently receive.

The employees also are eligible to apply for unemployment, including the federal supplement provided under the CARES Act of an additional $600 per week. 

All employees will return back to work after their two-week furlough.

“Our county administrator and HR director have worked very hard to put together a plan that will protect the safety of our employees, ensure the employees will not be financially burdened while also trying to offset revenue losses to the fullest extent possible,” board of commissioners chairman Miller stated.

The news release stated that elected officials and department heads “viewed this as a positive opportunity and everyone agreed to work together to ensure the safety of as many employees as possible while still maintaining the essential functions of each office.”

The furlough affects employees in the assessor’s office, circuit clerk’s office, county clerk’s office, custodians, the highway department, the state’s attorney office and the treasurer’s office.

“It is unclear at this time how much our county’s revenue will suffer due to this pandemic,” county administrator Johnson said. 

“With payments from the state running three months behind, we haven’t even seen the financial impact of this pandemic yet. 

“However, we know our budgeted revenues are going to be down and feel it is better to take a proactive stance now rather than be forced to be reactive months from now.”

County officials estimate  there will be approximately $40,000 in salary savings resulting from the two-week furloughs. 

Additional furlough days may be offered during the months of June and July.

Board chairman Miller thanked and acknowledged the cooperation of all elected officials for looking out for the future stability of Union County.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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