MoDOT announces employee pay, hour cuts

Published: Jun. 12, 2020 at 4:43 PM CDT
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Missouri's Department of Transportation knows there's just no way to kick a $45 million shortfall down the road.

"We've been trying to proceed cautiously, because there is a bit of a lag to this, and we're trying to match our actions to potential issues in revenue," said MoDOT Director, Patrick McKenna.

McKenna largely blames COVID-19.

The state didn't collect as much tax money from fuel, car sales, and registration fees the last few months.

"We started slowing spending about 10 weeks ago on discretionary purchases," McKenna said. "We've slowed the hiring process a little bit. That's saved some money."

MoDOT delayed $360 million of construction advertising in the state. No projects have been delayed yet, but it's still not enough.

So, MoDOT is cutting hours and pay from employees.

"We estimate that this will save between $17 and $20 million in road fund resources," McKenna said.

MoDOT employees have two options.

Option one is a five percent cut in pay, but still continuing to work a 40 hour week.

Option Two is a federal program called "Work Share." Employees are cut back to 32 hours per week, equating to a 20-percent pay cut.

With this option, employees would be able to get unemployment benefits, including the extra $600 per week through the CARES Act.

"That CARES Act benefit runs through the end of July, so this means six weeks of additional benefit financially, and six weeks without," McKenna said.

MoDOT is only expecting cuts right now to last about 12 weeks, until the first week of September.

"We're asking our team to plan wisely to use that additional money coming to you and bank that over time," McKenna said.

As far as filing for unemployment, MoDOT will do that for their employees who chose that Work Share program.

McKenna and his deputy director are both taking a 10-percent pay cut.

Other senior management employees are taking a 5-percent pay cut.

All employee benefits like health insurance will remain untouched.

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