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Tentative Agreement Between Onondaga County And Workers' Union Includes Furloughs

Onondaga County Executive's Office

Onondaga County and the CSEA union have a tentative agreement to include furloughs in upcoming county workforce cuts. County Executive Ryan McMahon said they are still waiting on some final signatures to the agreement.

While more details are not yet available, McMahon said it will save some workers from being laid off.

That doesn’t mean that we still probably won’t have layoffs,” said McMahon. “We still probably will have some layoffs. But this gives us a tool to blend in the response.”

Cuts of any kind are still scheduled to begin in mid-September. The county legislature has grantedMcMahon the ability to adjust workforce hours as economic data continues to come in through the rest of the year.

Planning for the 2021 budget is already underway. McMahon said he doesn’t expect the region to rebound to pre-pandemic growth levels for the next few years. Before the shutdown, unemployment was around 4% in Onondaga County.

“Now you’re looking at unemployment at 13%. Maybe it’s a little bit better now,” said McMahon. “But until you have folks working and spending money like they regularly were, we’re not going to see an uptick in sales tax.”

In addition to loss of sales tax revenue, the County also faces $20 million in cuts from the state and Congress has yet to pass a coronavirus relief bill that includes aid to state and local governments. McMahon said the sales tax growth that Onondaga County was experiencing has been destroyed by the pandemic.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.