Coons sent a letter to county employees Monday saying the concessions now would delay more difficult decisions in the future. Leaders of the six unions have until Tuesday to accept the pay freeze and the furlough, which could require up to 26 days of unpaid leave.
Coons is due to unveil his recommended budget next month. His letter says the pay freezes and furloughs would save about $6.5 million and would be combined with 8 percent budget cuts in each county department to reduce the deficit.
The president of the Fraternal Order of Police No. 5, Joe Lavelle, says the furlough proposal is dangerous for county police officers and the public.