If I said the words Mass Layoff Action would your immediate response be Catholic Church? For most of you the answer is like to be no. Sadly, this is exactly what the church is getting ready to do.
The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is considering some very serious layoffs in order to set its budget to right. The church needs to shore up a $2.3 million hole in the budget for the coming year. It is that issue that has lead to the consideration of layoffs, as the church has already cut jobs through attrition.
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, “The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. 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.” Under the terms of this kind of layoff workers must be give several weeks of advance notice before they can be taken off of the payrolls.
Interestingly enough the latest release from the church was about a promotion instead of the layoffs that may be coming, “Bishop David Zubik has appointed Helene Paharik as associate general secretary in the General Secretariat of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. She is currently director for the diocesan Department for Human Dignity. She replaces Dr. Arlene McGannon as associate general secretary. McGannon returned to Tampa, Fla., this month to serve as director of mission services with the four St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Tampa. Paharik’s appointment is effective Sept. 1.”
Sadly these are not the first layoffs for the church. Back in 2012 the church laid off workers. Here is an excerpt from our coverage of that event, “If ever there were a recession-proof entity in the United States, one might think the Catholic Church ought to be it. Not so, according to the Diocese of Springfield Massachusetts, which on Friday announced that it was laying off 49 people. The layoffs represent 36 percent of the Diocese’s current workforce.”
Another set of layoffs happened in 2011 when teachers employed by the church were cut. Here is a look at those layoffs, “88 catholic teachers are facing layoffs since the Catholic school board struggles with a deficit budget. Fred Alexander, Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board chairman confirming the layoffs said that the cuts are due to an estimated deficit of $8 to $10 million because of declining enrollment. He is expecting an 800 to 1,000 decline in enrollment this fall, which will drastically decrease the funding from the ministry. But Al Anderson, the local branch president of Ontario Elementary Catholic Teachers Association said that these layoffs are excessive and violating the terms of contract with teachers.”Catholic Church Considering Layoffs to Ease Budget Woes by Harrison Barnes