BGSU to lay off 15-20 classified employees

BOWLING GREEN – Bowling Green State University announced today that 15 to 20 classified staff members will be laid off at its Bowling Green campus. Classified staff are the University’s hourly employees.

According to Rebecca Ferguson, assistant vice president for human resources, the University won’t know the final number of layoffs for several days because classified employees have the ability to move into vacant positions or “bump” other workers in their classification who have less seniority.

“We are talking with approximately 20 people today,” Ferguson said. “If all of the affected employees exercise their right to bump into vacant or other positions, 15 people total will be laid off.”

BGSU is facing a budget deficit of $6 million to $10 million dollars for fiscal year 2010 (July 2009 through June 2010). Friday’s announcement was the latest in a number of moves the University has made to reduce costs. Last fall BGSU enacted a hiring freeze. In December, the University announced that contracts would not be renewed for 23 administrative staff members. An additional 47 people were reassigned or had their contract modified.

According to Ferguson, since last fall the University has cut about 70 jobs through eliminating vacant positions, attrition, retirements and layoffs.

“We’ve worked very hard with the vice presidents, deans and others with budget responsibilities to eliminate vacant positions and taken other steps to try to reduce the number of people affected,” Ferguson said.

Classified staff members who are laid off will receive two weeks severance pay and one-on-one counseling about benefits. The University will be reminding employees that they are eligible for up to 18 months of continued health coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Under the recently enacted federal stimulus plan, the U.S. government will pay 65 percent of COBRA costs for workers who involuntarily lose their jobs. Workers will also retain the right for recall to the University for one year from the date of layoff.

Over the last several months the University has also held a number of resume and career-planning seminars at the request of the Classified Staff Council.

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(Posted April 03, 2009 )