Bismarck, ND – As lawmakers try to balance the budget, state employees are being asked to quit their jobs.
Employees at several state departments are being asked to quit their job voluntarily. 10 department heads sent a letter out to their employees Tuesday offering them an incentive package if they chose to leave. The incentive package would give employees three options: a lump sum of three months salary plus health insurance, stay employed with health insurance for three more months, or take 12 months of health insurance with no salary.
“This just gives employees an opportunity to look at their future. Maybe they’re thinking about retiring. Maybe they’re thinking about a career change or going back to school or staying home with their kids and this will give them an opportunity to check that out,” Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Pam Sharp said. Her department is one of the ones offering employees the package.
“We face an unprecedented $1.5 billion revenue shortfall…With the legislative session now in its final month, additional steps will be needed to balance the budget,” the letter read.
Sharp says that means if enough employees do not take this offer, there could still be cuts in the near future.
“If they still need to eliminate other positions, beyond what the voluntary program gave them, then they likely will have to do reduction in force,” she said.
The departments that received the letter include OMB, Department of Health (not including environmental), DHS, Department of Securities, WSI, Highway Patrol, Commerce, Parks and Rec, Adjudant General, and Department of Financial Institutions.