Firings Rare in State Service MacIver Analysis Finds

MacIver News Service | December 15, 2010

[Madison, Wisc…] Just how much job security comes with a state job in Wisconsin? Plenty, according to an analysis of discharge and layoff termination data from the state’s central payroll system, conducted by the MacIver News Service.

This year, only 90 permanent state employees out of a pool of approximately 36,000 lost their jobs. Cumulatively in the last five years, only 419 permanent employees were discharged from the 29 different state agencies which utilize the Department of Administration’s central payroll, which includes more than half of the state’s 69,000+ public employees.

“For me one of the last options I want to consider is having any more people in the state not employed,” said Walker. ” So it’s a much better option to be able to consider wage and benefit reforms or other things that would help balance the budget without having people laid off.”

Layoffs are rare in state service.  A review of DOA payroll data shows that this year, as Wisconsin’s private sector employees struggled in the continuing recession, only 31 state employees were laid off.

DOA’s central payroll does not include the University of Wisconsin System, Courts or the State Legislature which use separate payroll system.

The findings underscore the importance of reaching labor agreements with state employee unions, since state employee numbers are rarely trimmed, Walker argued Tuesday in an impromptu press conference outside his temporary offices across the street from the State Capitol in Madison.

“Clearly, for the taxpayers it’s important that we have all options available to us,” Walker said in one last effort to convince lawmakers not to approve the agreements Tuesday night. “This is not about whether we think people are doing a good job.”

Walker addressed reporters as lawmakers in both houses waited on definitive final action on collective bargaining agreements with 16 of the 19 government employee unions.

Raw Video of Walker Press Conference