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Topeka ordering non-union workers to take 5 unpaid days off

June 8, 2020 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka is requiring its 285 non-union employees to take five unpaid days off to help cut the city’s costs in the wake of financial struggles tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

The employees must take the five days between June 13 and Sept. 18, city spokeswoman Molly Hadfield told The Topeka Capital-Journal.

It’s the latest in a series of moves by the city to cut costs following the temporary closings of businesses because of the pandemic.

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City Manager Brent Trout last month eliminated the jobs held by the deputy city manager, neighborhood relations director and emergency management coordinator.

Trout, the mayor and City Council members also cut their own pay 6%.

Trout asked in April that the city’s 834 union employees accept 3% pay cuts. The seven unions involved rejected that request, and the city is working with them to find other ways to save money, Hadfield said.

Topeka’s mayor and city council on Tuesday will consider changes to its group health care cost-sharing contract for 2020-22 with the unions. Both sides have tentatively agreed to changes that would save the city an estimated $850,000.

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