Employees’ grace period to end soon

Deanna Stevens

With the decrease of government funding, Kent State announced several lay-offs in late April. The employees notified of their dismissal had a 90-day grace period to find employment elsewhere, or to receive training for new skills that they would need for new positions within the university.

“The three-month period was to give them enough time to look at their personal situations and to give them the opportunity to decide on what they were going to do,” said Carolyn Pizzuto, vice president of human resources.

The laid-off employees’ last official day of work will be July 29. As the deadline grows nearer, the University will make up for all the work that will be lost.

The process began with each department head deciding what services could be re-worked or eliminated. The needs of each individual department helped determine which positions would be cut. If the person whose position was eliminated had a classified position, they were not necessarily laid off.

Classified positions are those which develop seniority “points.” The person laid off can take the position of someone else with fewer points, Pizzuto said.

When those people are gone, the employees left within the departments are now responsible for the slack, she added.

Department heads will be faced with more work as well.

“Certainly we are re-working what we do,” Director of Career Services Ann Motayar said. “But as an institution we are working on how to move forward and work smarter. We are taking advantage of technology.”

Taking advantage of technology is not the only way department heads are making sure the work is being completed.

“We are going to use all the resources available to us, to make sure the work gets done,” said Marlene Dorsey, dean of the College of Continuing Studies. “Right now we are trying to manage tasks and looking at work loads, as well as working together with other departments.”

In addition to the layoffs, about 30 vacant positions were eliminated. The amount of money saved from these layoffs is still just an estimate. The amount will be clearer closer to July 29, due to the classified positions, Pizzuto said.

Along with the layoffs, several positions recieved pay-structure upgrades. Each title was raised one level in the pay structure.

“Being placed in a new pay grade does not mean you’re going to get a raise,” said Fred Martone, manager of compensation. “That depends on either a general increase or individual performance.”

There have been no individual raises, added Martone, but competitive wages will still be in use.

Contact general assignment reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].