Layoffs On The Table For The University Of Illinois

Apr 20, 2016

Credit University of Illinois Library

In a memo, Associate Provost for Human Resources Elyne Cole indicates that some jobs – including some in Civil Service --- could be cut, effective at the start of the fall semester. 

U of I spokesperson Robin Kaler says the campus is looking to get a handle on what departments are looking to cut positions…and do it all at once, to mitigate the impact.

AFSCME Local 3700 President Ann Zettervall says she’s seen the memo, which was sent Monday to some campus personnel, including some who are covered by union contracts. She says she’s just getting the word out to her members, who are mostly clerical employees.  

ZETTERVALL: (“People are really scared.  We’ve reached out to staff Human Resources, particularly asking why we weren’t informed of this.   We have an agreement where they let us know about layoffs and we weren’t informed of this plan at all.  So we’re working with them to try to get more information, but at this point, we don’t have a lot.”)

The memo from Associate Provost Cole outlines a schedule for action during a “position elimination period”.  Zettervall says Civil Service hiring and testing has been suspended during that period. That’s to minimize the disruption caused when Civil Service workers whose jobs are cut are allowed by seniority rules to take jobs from other Civil Service workers, who are then “bumped” into other positions.

Zettervall says the U of I would not discuss other unions that are affected by the upcoming job cuts.  But she thinks the memo making the announcement was timed, so it would be “overshadowed” by the 2-day strike by Urbana campus non-tenure track faculty, which ended late yesterday.   

Kaler says the timing of the memo was a mere coincidence.