Politics & Government

Layoffs under way at state agencies

Layoffs were in the works at a few state agencies as Washington's new budget year got under way Friday. As many as 13 workers at the Department of General Administration got notice on Thursday that they could lose their jobs by July 15.

Roughly 30 workers actually lost their jobs Thursday at the Department of Information Services, which saw 61.5 positions eliminated in the new budget. DIS spokeswoman Joanne Todd said roughly half of those positions were eliminated through attrition, retirements and people moving to other jobs.

The Department of Social and Health Services also is slimming its payroll after cutting more than 2,000 positions in recent years. Spokesman Thomas Shapley said the agency is in the process of doing about 40 layoffs and another 74 are pending.

The changes are part of a two-year budget approved by lawmakers this spring that cut $4.8 billion in real and projected spending. My report from last week said the state’s general-government agencies are expected to have an average of 1,316 fewer funded full-time positions, or FTEs, than in the just concluded budget cycle, but not all of those reductions require layoffs.

The new GA layoffs were announced to the agency on Thursday by director Joyce Turner. She said in an email to staff that 13 workers were given notices “that their jobs are at risk for a layoff” later in the month. In her email, Turner said:

Seven positions are related to the reductions in the capital budget that affect our Facilities Division and Executive Management programs.

Six positions are as a result of reductions in program demands in the Services Division.

UPDATED with link to earlier report on changes in staffing levels from biennium to biennium.