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New York State Hiring Cut-Rate Temporary Workers

Albany Times Union (New York) (12/02/12) James M. Odato

New York state officials plan to save $60 million over five years by cutting the pay of the temporary employees who supplement the state’s work force. Temporary employees will have their wages reduced by up to 42%. Many of these employees have worked alongside state employees for months or even years. They range from technical and management personnel to agricultural and service workers to doctors and nurses.

Thirty-eight temporary staffing firms have been awarded new contracts. The new contracts will result in a 30% reduction in temporary service costs, compared with the previous contracts.

“They don’t take into consideration where these [firms] are, or [workers’] reputations or their credentials,” says Maisie Hillenbrandt, area director of Nursefinders. The firm has supplied nurses to the state for years, but recently lost its contract to a lower bidder. Hillenbrandt says the nurses she has been supplying to state agencies won’t accept lower wages and won’t sign on with the winning contractors.