Layoffs and Demotions 7/2/2010
There was a reduction in force today where I am working. The proper term is layoffs. These were because of budget issues. 13 people were laid off and 8 People were demoted because of lack of funds out of a staff of 33. In January all the part-time peoples hours were cut in half. The demotions started at the top and worked their way down. Librarian IIIs became Librarian IIs, and Librarian IIs became Librarian Is. I was a Librarian II. Reduction in force is a specific type of layoff associated with civil service in New York. http://www.cs.state.ny.us/pdf/rif_guidelines.pdfApparently, a 10% cut in funding is enough to layoff half of the staff, that is a $400,000 shortfall. I asked if I had the right to ask to be laid off and collect unemployment. Apparently, you cannot ask to be laid off in the civil service system of New York, you must take a reduced job or resign without unemployment. There was something cold about standing in a quiet building where half of the staff were gone, many who had worked more than 25 years in the place. The layoff notice was for several weeks away. Maybe, there is hope in a hard way. It was strange helping people while everyone else was sent home.
Needless to say, I have become much more interested in advocacy. None of this had to do with the performance of the people being let go. At least that was what I was told. It was supposed to be purely budgetary. I feel like being a cypher right now. Sometimes acting is better than feeling. Needless to say, I will be going to job related functions and seeing many of my colleagues at them. There is the ACRL NY Libraries Skill Share on July 13, 2010 listed on New York Lbrarians Meetup. http://www.meetup.com/NYLibrarians/calendar/13874759/ Oddly enough, I feel more tired than afraid. I have been collecting information on advocacy groups. I guess now is the definite time to contact them about this. There certainly are enough organizations. I started contacting my senators and assemblypeople in New York.