St. Joe’s Laying Off 172
St. Joseph’s University submitted documentation to the state saying it plans to lay off 172 employees by September 30. The employees are part of the university’s Telephonic Research Operation which is set for closure.
St. Joe’s Vice President of Human Resources Sharon O’Grady Eisenmann sent a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry detailing the layoffs. It said that there are no union workers involved and that none of the workers have “bumping rights” — which would allow more senior workers to replace less tenured ones.
St. Joe’s spokesperson Joe Lunardi says they are part-time, student positions, and that they’re “not layoffs in any traditional sense, nor have any full-time workers been affected.”
The move comes on the heels of some tough times for St. Joe’s. In February of 2014, the school announced an $8.7 million budget shortfall, 4.2 percent cuts to its operating budget and plans to accept 225 more students to its freshman class. That led to protests from students who did not want larger class sizes and were afraid that admission standards would be diminished.
Meanwhile in August of 2014, president C. Kevin Gillespie announced that he was stepping down after a three-year tenure. Senior vice president John Smithson, also announced his resignation.
Lunardi said the closing of the center is not connected to any budget concerns. He says the university’s 2015 unaudited budget shows that the school realized 4.6 percent on its $230 million operating budget (roughly $10.6 million).
Lunardi says: “These are part-time, contracted student workers.” he said. “The contract mentioned in this WARN notice is scheduled to end.”