The AFSCME union for state workers has endorsed an early retirement package and voted to forego a scheduled pay raise for four months. AFSCME president Jan Corderman says the ability to save jobs was a big reason the package passed.State workers who’re at least 55 years old would be allowed to retire early if they’ve held a state job for 20 years or more. They’d get paid for their accumulated vacation and sick leave, a final payment averaging nearly 29-thousand dollars per retiree. The move, though, would save the state over 50-million dollars in salaries through June, 2003.Corderman says the move would save up to 12-hundred jobs if the projected number of workers take the buy-out. About 14-hundred AFSCME members are 55 or older.Corderman estimates about 340 AFSCME employees will probably retire early. The plan must be endorsed by the legislature and Governor, too, and they’ll have to decide whether non-union state workers will be eligible for the early retirement incentives. Most state workers are scheduled to get a three percent pay raise on July 1st, but the unionized workers have agreed to delay that raise ’til November, saving the state about 10-and-a-half million dollars.
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