Layoffs from past year end; next year’s unknown

The final round of layoffs at USF occurred last week, leaving four more employees without a job. The employees were the last to leave their positions Wednesday for the 2001 – 2002 fiscal year.

Four Administrative and Professional employees were laid off, said Michael Reich, USF director for media relations. At least 149 vacant full-time employment positions were abolished this past year, Reich said, because there is more than one funding source needed for those positions. Reich said 90 percent of the positions are paid with grants and the remainder is paid by the state.

Reich said full-time positions require all salaries to be supported by this funding.

Reich said the remaining employees who were laid off should have been notified by their department, but all USF employees were aware by mid -January that their jobs were in jeopardy.

Layoffs for unplaced employees began June 20, and three A&P employees and two USPS employees were notified, Reich said.

In late January, Human Resources began listing vacant-position reports in USF departments to ensure USPS employees would receive their layoff rights.

Rights for USPS employees, such as secretaries and clerks, include placement into vacant positions.

Human Resources also had to hold advertisements for vacant positions so employees who were going to be laid off could fill those positions first.

Whether the university will experience the same situation with layoffs this year will not be determined until after a final budget is approved for USF, Reich said.

“At this point there is a lot we don’t know that will be determined by the legislative session,” Reich said. “Our challenge is to work with the budget constraints. Obviously we don’t want any layoffs.”

Last February, the College of Medicine had to wait on the Florida Legislature to learn how budget cuts would affect its research faculty. About 14 employed researchers, including scientists and lab technicians, risked the possibility of being laid off unless another position was found for them.

Research employees are classified under USPS positions, but Reich said no employees in College of Medicine or Health Sciences were laid off.

However, the College of Medicine was expecting to abolish about 20 faculty positions, both filled and vacant in June.