ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)–Tens of thousands of state workers are being offered cash to leave their jobs. The governor has signed off on a buyout program that could save the state big bucks, but some critics say the program doesn’t go far enough.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the offer.READ MORE: Ovechkin Scores 2, Capitals Rally To Beat Senators 3-2
Letters have been sent out to 30,000 government employees offering a buyout as the governor tries to close a nearly $800-million budget gap.
State highway workers, those that help Maryland’s veterans, and workers who monitor the health of the Chesapeake Bay, all state employees who may now be eligible for a $15,000 buyout to leave their jobs.
“Our budget gets spending under control and establishes a realistic trajectory for spending the future,” said Governor Larry Hogan.
Part of the governor’s budget includes shrinking the state workforce by asking some to voluntarily retire early. It’s a plan that concerns Union President Patrick Moran.
“I think the bigger concern here Meghan is that we see services still being able to be provided in a professional and steady manner that the people of Maryland are accustomed to and have come to expect,“ said Patrick Moran, AFSCME Council 3.READ MORE: No. 12 Maryland Women Roll In Frese’s Return To Bench
The governor signed an executive order this week to eliminate 500 state jobs to save $37.5 million dollars.
But, union officials say the buyout is not being offered to people who work at around the clock facilities, such as prisons and state hospitals.
“The $15,000 dollars might not be a whole lot, but it’s something,” said Deborah Williams, corrections officer.
For 18-years– Deborah Williams has worked as a corrections officer. She says it’s unfair she’s not eligible for the buyout.
“It’s like these persons over here in social services and management. Most of them will probably take advantage of it. They get everything and we get nothing.,“ Williams said.
Those who are eligible must apply by next month.
Those who are accepted for the buyout program must leave their jobs by the end of April.MORE NEWS: Unseld Out Of Protocols, Set To Return As Wizards Coach
Governor O’Malley also offered state workers a buyout back in 2010, more than 600 people took the deal.