19 Mar 2009

CNMI government layoffs about to begin

7:52 pm on 19 March 2009

The Northern Marianas administration is giving government department heads until the end of the week to prepare a list of employees whose jobs could be laid off.

The governor's special assistant for administration, Esther Fleming says that although she is unable to estimate how many people will lose their jobs, the cuts would focus on non-essential positions.

The administration has signalled the need for furloughs as it calculates the impact of the new US $156 million Fiscal Year 2009 budget law following the move by the Legislature to override Governor Benigno Fitial's veto of the budget.

After the override, Finance Secretary Eloy Inos said the new budget would force possibly thousands of layoffs or could shut the government down as early as July.

Ms Fleming says civil service employees will not be affected, but that employees within the Governor's Office and the various mayors' offices will feel the impact.