When officials at SIU-Carbondale announced almost 80 job cuts last week, over 60-percent of them involved civil service workers. Now, the head of the civil service workers union is speaking out.
Ami Ruffing is president of Association of Civil Service Employees. She says she understands SIU-C needs to make 19-million dollars in cuts to deal with the ongoing state budget impasse, but Ruffing says she doesn't believe it should be cutting from the bottom.
"ACSE represented people are the lowest paid, permanent employees on campus. A lot of our workers make under $12 an hour. It would not require very many higher paid administrators to be laid off to make up the difference for so many civil service people."
After last week's announcement, SIU-C spokesperson Rae Goldsmith said timing dictated the announcement of more civil service worker layoffs.
"So, you may see some additional cuts in the future in some other areas. The cuts to civil service we're focused today on because of our contractual obligations to give (30 days) notice."
Ruffing says she doesn't understand the 51 civil service layoffs considering her union members are what she calls the "boots on the ground" for SIU-C.
"We're the people who help get students registered, that take care of accounting and time sheets and clean the place and take care of the animals and we really do a lot of the actual physical work at the university. When we've been consistently eroded, it interferes with the function of the university."
Ruffing says eight civil service positions are being eliminated and 33 more workers may relocate or be laid off due to retreat rights, or bumping.
"People who have retreat rights are not compelled to use them. So, there may be some people who say they just want to retire or they're fine with being laid off."
Ruffing says workers with retreat rights must make their intentions known to Human Resources by the end of business Wednesday.