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Published: Tuesday, 4/28/2009

About 100 employees at UT to be laid off because of budget woes

BY MEGHAN GILBERT
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Jacobs Jacobs
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Nearly 100 employees at the University of Toledo will be laid off in an effort to help close a $16 million budget gap, UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs announced Tuesday.

Those affected include employees from all campuses of the university and are in addition to eliminating 200 positions that are currently vacant due to a strict hiring process. No faculty members will be affected.

"We can say today that it has relieved and ameliorated the number of actual layoffs from perhaps as many as 300 down to approximately 100 and I am very proud of that result actually, thank goodness," Dr. Jacobs said.

Dr. Jacobs announced the layoffs during a regularly scheduled town hall meeting in a small room in the recently renovated Memorial Fieldhouse that was broadcast live on the Web site, video.utoledo.edu where it will be archived.

The specific numbers of layoffs Tuesday afternoon included 87 occupied positions - 46 on the main campus and 41 on the health science campus.

There are a total of 36 professional staff association employees (24 on the main campus and 12 on the health science campus) included in the layoffs. Those are salaried management positions.

The layoffs also will affect 22 Communication Workers of American employees on the main campus, which include the skilled trades, custodial, and maintenance staff.

And 24 members of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees on the health science campus will be laid off. Those include the hourly employees in positions from custodial to pharmacist.

The total number could change from 87 as some union employees have the option to "bump" into other positions.

Tom Kosek, president of AFSME Local 2415, said a number of the about 2,000 members of his union are worried about where the cutting will end.

"At what point does the institution fail in their mission while trying to maintain the budget perameters they've set?" he said.

Robert Hull, president of CWA 4319 which represents about 600 employes, said the union has been working with the university in imaginative and creative ways to save money without layoffs.

"The university took the easy way out with the layoffs," he said.

Dr. Jacobs said there will continue to be about 6,900 UT employees working hard to serve university students and patients at the UT Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio Hospital.

Eliminating the about 300 positions as well as previous cost cutting measures should help the university alleviate a projected $16 million shortfall, the president said.

Although the university expects an overall $6 million bump from the state in the upcoming budget, it will not be enough to offset increasing costs in personnel and other areas.

The hospital is expected to finish the current fiscal year in the black, Dr. Jacobs said.

UT has already laid off more than 180 temporary workers and closed the geriatric psychiatric unit of the University of Toledo Medical Center that eliminated 37 jobs.

Those affected by the most recent layoffs were to be notified Tuesday afternoon.



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