Staff concerned over Reduction In Force process

By on April 18, 2018

By Bailey Campagna —

At an April 9 meeting, staff expressed concerns about the Reduction in Force (RIF) process.

According to John Elliot, the interim associate vice president of human resources, 25 employees have been RIF’d since January. This does not include the 20 people RIF’d due to the outsourcing of mail and printing services to Canon.

Staff members said some people are notified they have been RIF’d the day they are supposed to leave.

Employment Manager Stacey Gardner and Elliot confirmed employees can be notified the day they are supposed to leave, but they encourage departments to inform employees earlier.

Gardner said a department can decide the last day an employee physically reports to work. Elliot said he tells department managers and directors to try and give as much notice as possible.

“We’re looking at under utilization, we’re looking at performance to see if there’s any grievances,” Gardner said. “We’re looking at disciplinary records as well as if there are several of the same positions. We’re looking at seniority.”

Staff also expressed concern over some employees being escorted out when they receive the notice they have been RIF’d.

“A 40-year employee, that had no history of emotional outbursts, who was RIF’d, was escorted out without the courtesy of being allowed to say (goodbye to) his co-workers,” Athletics Senator Rhonda Gilliland.

“We want the process to be respectful. As respectful as we can possibly be. So, what we tell the department heads is that if there’s some reason that you feel you need to do that then you need to do what you need to do,” Elliot said.

Elliot and Gardner said that they wished they didn’t have to deal with RIFs, but it’s part of getting the budget in order.

“Trust me, I don’t get any pleasure out of doing these,” Gardner said. “It’s the one part of my job I wish I could get rid of.”

Elliot said the RIF process was the worst part of his job.

“But honestly I don’t think RIFs will go away anytime soon. I think it’s just a part of our right sizing.”

Chief Operating Officer Joseph Han also addressed the outsourcing of the mail and printing services to Canon. He said he met with the employees and the decision is hard for everyone involved.

“Honestly several of (the employees) are very distraught,” he said. “Making sure they feel okay walking out. It may not be possible, but we’re going to do whatever we can. I’m not an emotional guy, but (meeting with them) I got a little choked up.”

Mark Watkins, associate vice president for business services, said all RIF’d employees will be interviewed for jobs once Canon takes over, but there is no guarantee they will get them.

“Canon didn’t guarantee that they would hire everyone, but they guaranteed that they would interview everyone,” Watkins said.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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