Governor announces hiring freeze and travel ban for state employees

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — The Dunleavy administration Monday instituted a hiring freeze and a ban on out-of state travel for state workers because of plunging world oil prices.

In a letter to all state commissioners, Ben Stevens, Gov. Dunleavy's chief of staff, wrote "With the recent volatility in the global oil markets and the impacts on our State's financial resources, prudent management actions must be taken to control spending."

The memo said the hiring freeze does not apply to positions essential to protect Alaska citizens, such as Alaska Troopers, corrections and probation officers, airport police and fire officers, airport screening officers and employees who provide patient, resident services, and food service at 24-hour institutions.

The hiring freeze does include all full-time and part-time, non-permanent and seasonal positions in bargaining units and in the partially-exempt and exempt service paid for by general funds and other state funds. The freeze also applies to requests to establish new non-permanent positions, as well as administrative support and maintenance in 24-hour facilities.

The memo said waivers will be considered if a department believes filling a position is necessary to protect public safety or meet essential state responsibilities.

The memo from Stevens said the ban on out of state travel applies to all state employees, effective Monday (yesterday). Employees currently out on approved travel shall return under their prior-approved travel schedules, the memo said.

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