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University of Kentucky Begins Brutal Layoffs

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“As part of UK’s budget for 2012-2013, we’re providing 90 days of notice to those employees who are part of a reduction in workforce in various areas across the campus. I am urging deans, unit heads and managers who are administering this process to treat those impacted with dignity and compassion during a very difficult time for everyone involved and for our institution. Efforts also are underway to exercise options available to maximize access to benefits on behalf of those impacted. These reductions in our workforce are in the wake of a $20 million reduction in state support for the 2012-2013 year and another $24 million in additional increases in fixed costs for items such as utilities, student financial aid, benefits and limited strategic investments.” These are the words of one Eli Capilouto, the current President of the university of Kentucky. You may recall them from our earlier coverage of the layoffs that were going on at The University of Kentucky.

At the time we did not know a lot of things, including how many people were set to impacted by those job cuts. Now we know that, and a few other disturbing things about how the layoffs are going on this college campus. The job cuts are set to impact about 140 employees on the campus, which is about one percent of the overall workforce at the school for those of you who are keeping track.

The disturbing part is that the layoffs, which apparently began late in the month of May have been done with a swift finality and coldness. According to a report filed by a reporter for the school has been very curt with its workers, they wrote, “…she and six other employees were summoned one by one to the dean’s office, told about their layoffs, handed a sealed letter, given a 5-minute

informational lecture and instructed to be out of the building in 10 minutes. “We were locked out of our computers, our university email deactivated, escorted to the exit door in front of our colleagues at mid-morning with as much of our personal belongings as we could hold,” Radford said in an email to the Herald-Leader. “We could not even check our office calendars to see what student appointments were scheduled for later that day and that week.’” Not very nice behavior for a man who urged his staff to treat impacted workers with “dignity and compassion.” Apparently, he does not believe that idea should apply to him as well.

These cuts are enough to qualify as a mass layoff action. For those of you who are not familiar with the idea of a mass layoff action here is a look at how the federal government defines the term, “Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments—where private sector nonfarm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.” Usually under the terms of a mass layoff action employees are given some advance notice, known as a WARN notice, in order to prepare for the loss of their jobs. Why this did not happen in this case is, for the present moment unknown.

University of Kentucky Begins Brutal Layoffs by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes