Impact of Oklahoma government hiring freeze

Monday, July 28th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- The head of a state employees group says a long-term hiring freeze and layoffs are making agency workers' jobs much harder.

Gary Jones is executive director of the Oklahoma Public Employees Association.

Jones says the situation has reached a breaking point for state workers, particularly those in the Corrections Department and Tax Commission.

The state employee force has declined 10% since 1991, from 39,325 full-time equivalent employees to 35,411 this past fiscal year.

The trend in higher education employment is the opposite, with 23,572 positions in 1991 growing to 27,602 in fiscal 2003.

Paul Sund, a spokesman for Governor Brad Henry, says the continued hiring freeze is part of Henry's goal of making government leaner and more efficient.