Unions to appeal layoffs before Regents meet

by Hailey Colwell

Before the Board of Regents meets Friday morning to vote on the University of Minnesota’s 2014 operating budget, representatives from the University’s clerical and technical workers’ unions will gather outside of McNamara Alumni Center to appeal recent layoffs.

In late May, the University’s Office of Information Technology laid off 25 employees, citing workload reductions and changes in the information technology industry.

“This isn’t the IT industry. This is the University of Minnesota,” said Cherrene Horazuk, president of AFSCME 3800, which represents University clerical workers.

The unions filed grievances against the layoffs, asking the University to re-evaluate them and the way they were carried out. They objected to OIT’s reasoning that the layoffs occurred because of a diminishing workload, arguing the cut jobs were in fact understaffed.

The layoffs were carried out fairly and followed the Office of Human Resources and the University’s policies, according to OIT officials.