Library layoffs begin
By Stuart R. Wahlin
The Rockford Public Library began the first of an expected 30 layoffs Jan. 11 amid a $1.7 million budget deficit projected for 2010.
The move comes in the wake of Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey’s (I) announcement during the summer that the city would no longer continue its longstanding support of library pensions, workers’ compensation and other costs.
The layoffs, which began today with non-represented employees, are expected to save $1 million. Meantime, library branch hours will be reduced and late fees will be increased to help balance the library’s budget.
The layoffs are expected to be borne equally by union and non-union employees. According to library officials, the pink slips are being issued based on employees’ most recent performance reviews, with seniority serving as a tie-breaker when necessary.
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