Kansas has offered incentives to induce state workers to retire early in an effort to reduce the payroll by 4,000 from the current 23,000 workers.
Secretary of Administration Dennis Taylor said the state will offer employees a one-time cash payment of $6,500 or five years of subsidized health insurance.
The offer will expire Sept. 2. Workers taking the buyout must leave by Sept. 19.
“This is a voluntary program,” Taylor said. “The administration will not make any recommendation that an employee choose to offer to retire.”
The offer is being extended only to employees covered by the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System. It is not available to workers in the retirement systems for firefighters, police officers, and corrections officers.
The state said 37% of its current workforce will be eligible to retire by 2015.
The Kansas Organization of State Employees filed legal and administrative complaints against the buyout plan on behalf of its 11,000 members.
Executive director Jane Carter said the state should have discussed terms and conditions of the proposal with union leaders before announcing it.
“KOSE’s goal in filing these actions is to ensure the state follows the necessary steps under the law and the labor agreement before implementing any program that impacts state workers,” she said.
A meeting between union and state officials was scheduled for Aug. 10.
Taylor said the state did not need the union’s approval before implementing the buyout plan.