How Will State Shrink Workforce?
In the 2016-17 budget proposal, the state’s “authorized component by agency” see page I3 in this document envisions full-time equivalent headcount falling by 3,442 (4%) from this fiscal year to next. There is a bit of reorganization in departments with the creation of Health and Human Services and Criminal Justice Departments proposed, but the net decrease from the current fiscal year to next is, at this point, based on eliminating positions. The state’s full-time headcount has decreased each year since the 2012 Fiscal Year, based on this table (see table 17). The biggest percentage drop in the last ten years came from 2010 to 2011.
How will the downsizing this budget proposes be accomplished? From several newspaper articles it appears an early retirement incentive will be a component. If the state offers what has been described as a “30 and out” which is described in one article as “…employees who currently have at least 29 years of service credit would be given the extra years of service needed to retire without penalty and with full benefits.” By initial count about 2,000 employees would qualify, but initial plans count on about half of those accepting it.
It has been a while since the state offered an early retirement incentive, but we last wrote of a similar program at the local level in 2014 as part of the City of Pittsburgh’s 2015 budget.