County starts one-day furloughs

Friday is the first no-work, no-pay day scheduled for some county government employees as a cost-cutting measure by King County.

The County Council, county executive and their staffs will be starting a slate of 10 unpaid furlough days Jan. 2, when their offices will be closed. Others are scheduled in February, March, April, May, June, July, September, October and November.

County employees and labor unions proposed the furlough as a means to help close the 2009 county budget gap while preserving as many jobs as possible. The plan was approved by the council.

Other county agencies, including the Sheriff Department, the prosecuting attorney and the court, will set their own furlough schedules.

Council members also have agreed to individually limit their personal cost-of-living (COLA) wage increases for 2009 to the same 1 percent that was negotiated with unionized county employees and also adopted for non-union workers.