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MI will not send layoff notices while talks continue

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-984504.mp3

LANSING, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder has decided not to dangle the threat of layoffs in front of thousands of state employees while contract negotiations continue. Thursday was the deadline to send out 30-day warning notices before the state's new fiscal year begins October 1. We have more from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

The Snyder administration is looking for $265 million in employee savings to keep the budget balanced.

Sara Wurfel is the governor's press secretary. She says the decision signals the governor's confidence that a deal can be reached with state employee unions without resorting to layoffs, unpaid vacation days, and other stop-gap budget fixes.

"This governor is a big believer in structural fixes and really wants to avoid coming back to do the one-time things of the past that haven't achieved the stability the state needs," he says.

Wurfel says the decision not to send notices does not rule out layoffs or any other contingency plans later on.

The administration wants employees to pay more of their health care costs. Unions say the state pays too much for managers and privatized services.

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