FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2008
SOUTH CAROLINA FORESTRY COMMISSION TO FURLOUGH EMPLOYEES
(Columbia,SC)–-In response to state budget cuts, all employees with the South Carolina Forestry Commission will be required to take five days of unpaid leave. This action will save the agency about $250,000.00. The agency has experienced a 15.4 percent cut in state funding since the beginning of the fiscal year resulting in a $2,729,154.00 reduction since July 2008. Since the budget reductions began, the agency has been actively reducing expenditures by curtailing travel, suspending equipment replacement, leaving many vacant positions unfilled, and reducing overall operating expenditures, but unpaid leave time is now necessary to stay within budget. The last SCFC furlough occurred in 2003.
The Forestry Commission is one organization among many other state agencies and educational institutions which have had to take similar cost-cutting measures. SCFC employees will coordinate furlough time with their supervisors to minimize impacts to the agency’s ability to respond to wildfires and other emergency incidents and to provide forest resource development and management services.
The Commission employs 380 people across South Carolina. The salary reductions will be made in employee paychecks between January 16 and June 16, 2009. This furlough translates into a four percent salary reduction for each SCFC employee over that period.
For more information, contact Scott Hawkins at (803) 896-8820.
The SC Forestry Commission’s mission is to protect and develop South Carolina’s forest resource. For every $1.00 invested by SC in the Commission, the industry produces about $1,000.00 of economic impact.