Idled Minn. public employees holding on _ for now

July 10, 2011 - 1:14 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A sudden summer vacation is bringing no pleasure to the 22,000 public employees idled by Minnesota's state government shutdown.

As the shutdown stretches into its second week, workers are getting by on unemployment checks and personal savings. But some say they can't do that for very long.

Some already are looking for new jobs in the private sector, raising the prospect of brain drain.

Erik Pakieser (puh-KEE'-zer) took to Twitter soon after the shutdown began to shop his services as a security professional. Pakieser says the state invested a lot of money to train him as an emergency planner.

The workers' unions are strongly Democratic, but some members blame Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton as much as Republicans for the standoff.