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FORT EDWARD -- Washington County Administrator Kevin Hayes said Tuesday that one of the public employees unions has been given a choice: furloughs or layoffs.

Hayes said the union's members have until May 1 to make their choice. He did not say which union or which department the cuts would affect, because of the ongoing negotiations.

"I gave a union a deadline and depending on what they tell me it's a layoff or a furlough," Hayes told the panel of supervisors on the Board of Supervisors Public Works Committee. "I've given them time and the first of May I need to know. I will have an answer by the first of May."

The Board of Supervisors approved a plan at the end of last year that would require all county employees to take two days off.

The savings are expected to be $192,000. But supervisors approved the furloughs without gaining assurances from the eight unions that they would back the plan.

The possibility of employee layoffs was raised earlier this month by Board of Supervisors Chairman John Rymph, who said they would likely occur later this year.

At Monday's Public Works meeting, Granville Supervisor Beverly Tatko said the county should research how much advance notice the county needs to give employees if layoffs are imminent.

"It's ridiculous that we don't know the time frame," she said. "We ought to know it or we can't do it."

Hayes said if any layoffs are approved in the Department of Public Works, the cuts would come after the summer road construction season and before snow removal is needed.

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