Tulsa City Workers May See More Furloughs

Thursday, May 14th 2009, 10:06 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- More cutbacks at Tulsa City Hall could mean city workers will have more days off without pay.

Some workers say they've been there before.  Budgets get tight and it's their wallets that get squeezed.  And, Tulsa could be in for quite a clash over cash.

Sales tax dollars are coming up about $20 million short and that number could keep going up.  The mayor's budget already called for cuts, including four furlough days for city employees.  But, now the number of days off without pay could double.

"Which eight days are you taking off?  Which eight Thursdays are you going to take off?" said city worker Bill Roland.

Each furlough day saves the city about $625,000.  City workers say potholes will go unfilled.  And, they don't think it's fair that the budget is balanced on their backs.

"Are we gonna have to take another pay cut? Another furlough day? Where does it stop?" said city worker Vincent McGee.

Members of the legal community and small business owners lined up to try to save another program from the chopping block. 

Budget cuts could eliminate the Early Settlement, mediation program.  It saves citizens and small businesses the cost of going to small claims court to settle disputes.

Advocates are raising private dollars and asking the county to chip in to take some of the city's financial burden.

"Nothing's going to last 27 years if it's not doing anything right.  And, this program's doing something right," said Tulsan Terry Simonson.