The layoff letter State employees received on Thursday


Alaska State employees were given notice of a partial government shutdown that could result from the Legislature’s failure to pass next year’s budget. Here is the letter:

Dear Alaska State Employee,

I regret to inform you of a potential partial government shutdown.  A partial shutdown could occur as a result of the Legislature failing to pass next year’s annual budget with language providing an effective date of July 1, 2021.  The effective date for the budget provides authority for the Executive Branch to spend certain funds.  Under Article II, Section 18 of the Alaska Constitution, a spending bill takes effect 90 days after it is enacted.  An earlier immediate effective date is possible only when 2/3 of the legislators in the House (27) and Senate (14) agree.  Because that effective date concurrence did not pass both bodies with the 2/3 majority, the earliest the operating budget can come into effect is 90 days from enactment, which would be sometime in September.  We are hopeful the legislature will still take action to and we will not need to proceed with the shut down. 

This will impact your employment status with the State of Alaska. On behalf of Governor Dunleavy as well as all of Commissioners, I assure you this action is no reflection on your service.

  • For permanent and probationary employees in the classified service (typically this means you are represented by a union), you will be placed on layoff from your current position effective July 1, 2021. You will receive notice by email should your layoff be rescinded prior to July 1, 2021, or should you be recalled from layoff after July 1, 2021.
  • For partially exempt and exempt employees (statutorily appointed employees), you will not need to report to work as of July 1, 2021. You will receive notice by email prior to July 1, 2021, should there be any changes to this direction, or after July 1, 2021, should your employment return to regular status.
  • For non-permanent employees whose positions will continue beyond June 30, you will not need to report to work as of July 1, 2021, until further notice by email.
  • For student, college, and graduate interns, you will not need to report to work as of July 1, 2021, until further notice by email.

This letter constitutes notice under your respective bargaining agreements or applicable statutes.  No additional notice will be provided.

You have until June 29th to send in a leave cash-in.  Please know that you will have health insurance until July but depending on the time of the shut down you may need to self pay your employee contribution. If you are a member of a collective bargaining unit, you may also want to contact your union for additional information; we are working closely with them. We are all here to assist you as much as possible.

Kate Sheehan


Division of Personnel and Labor Relations

Read Governor says he won’t sign this flawed budget, and layoff notices go out.


  1. Finally! Now the trough feeders can experience a Covid-style layoff. Hopefully for a full year, so us little folk can receive our legal, full PFD. And good riddance!

  2. This should be called what it really is, paid time off. When was the last time that state employees were not “made whole”? In other words, if this 90 timeframe actually takes place state employees will get a summer to do whatever they choose and when they return they will be paid back pay for the time they were off and did no work for the state.

  3. Steve-O is right. They’ll all come back to work with back pay and, who knows?, maybe a stipend for their pain and suffering. Far from the days when I worked for an oil company and our employment status swung in the wind with the rise and fall of a barrel of oil.

  4. There has actually never been a government shutdown and mass layoff of State employees, at least not in modern, say, post Prudhoe Bay, times. Over the worst of the mid-’80s oil price crash about 400 employees experienced a layoff. Frankly most of them were constructive discharges of people somebody wanted to get rid of and they used the budget as the means to do it. Unless they paid somebody for not being at work when I wasn’t looking since I retired, I don’t know of any instance in State government where State employees have been paid backpay for layoff time. It is however common practice for the federal government because in modern times shutdowns are basically a charade.

    If this happens, the employees get one more pay day after July 1. Unlike the US the State government essentially ceases to exist at 12:01 AM on July 1. Under State law there are no essential employees who continue to work and get paid. The State has always assumed that Troopers, COs, and hospital/Pioneer Home employees will work on the assumption they will eventually get paid, but the State has no way to make them.

    We’ll see!

  5. I think we should elect only people with a profitable businesses, non-union and conservatives. Maybe we can get the states finances in order. Obviously the current legislators can’t get the job done because of political positions or they are unqualified. Time is running out!

  6. Think of how much money we’ll save not paying the 10K state employees from Jul to Sep…. They collected full pay all last year and did not work, so I hope they saved some of that $$. (not really funny, but sarcasm…you know). It’s an absolute goat rope this Legislature has created and the very first people whose livelihoods should be taken from them is those 27 Reps and 14 Senators who failed every Alaskan. The PFD is doing great and instead they cave to special interests to steal $$ out of the pockets of Alaskans who have had a terrible year. Businesses have failed, people lost their jobs, homes and healthcare – so pardon me if I’m not super hurt that state employees might miss a few paychecks.

  7. What it should have said was “because of Bryce Edgmon and the rest of the house that is in his posse, as well as rino Republicans, you’re going to get a few days / weeks off but don’t worry. You can file unemployment or wait for the back pay to show up after we bring Bryce to his knees. I as Governor can no longer sit back and watch this clown steal our PFD. All he cares about is money, and power. I don’t believe he has the people’s interest at heart.”

  8. This seems like a great time to right size the government! Do not call back fifty percent of the state employees!

  9. John boy, you’re confusing the issues. The problem isn’t that there are too many state employees, the problem is the legislature’s spending is too great. Yes there’s probably some jobs that can be cut out of the state coffers. I know personally some jobs can be cut out of school districts.

  10. From what I’ve read about this “shutdown” it forces state government to cut back to essential government services…perfect! Let’s make that permanent.

  11. Alaska Legislature: let’s waste time in Juneau after our PFD increases to 80 billion to ‘decide’ to give our money to ‘US’,wait let’s make a conscious effort to be political even if are job in this instance can be done by a computer app that is not political. Let’s vote ourselves 8,900. each per diem to make ourselves happy and our wallets fatter, after all,we support the bank of ‘mom and dad’ and we don’t have to make fast or real decisions we are here for the socialization and good old boy net.

  12. Layoffs will cost the state 200 million when all the owed vacation time is cashed out. Food for thought.

  13. I have a family member who is an employee for the state who has been in the office since this whole shut down began. My family member never once worked from home for a year and a half. It’s funny the comments you guys are making, that you are happy that people will be getting laid off. I would bet half of you guys that are making these comments are collecting unemployment checks and not wanting to go back to work.

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