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'What if I'm laid off?' programs announced

STANFORD -- With unit-by-unit budget reduction plans being fine-tuned, anxiety has some Stanford University employees asking themselves, "What if I'm laid off?"

Answers to that question were made at a "town meeting" Thursday, Feb. 24, by Barbara Butterfield, vice president for faculty and staff services, and Tina Kass of personnel services.

The question that could not be answered was "How many?" but university officials hope it will be few.

Kass said that any employees slated for departure from their current jobs would be given a folder containing a letter from Butterfield and Provost Condoleezza Rice, a brochure titled "What if I'm Laid Off?," another brochure on redeployment and retraining, a Help Center brochure, a booklet explaining how California's unemployment system works, a list of area resources and a copy of the university's policies on layoffs.

Laid-off workers also would be invited to a one-hour session to get advice on how to proceed, Kass said.

Managers eliminating positions will be given a separate packet of information pertinent to their side of the issue. One of the elements will be guidance on how to waive the job posting process to speed up transfers for qualified employees. They also are being given guidelines on how to most effectively handle a layoff.

Kass said her office would be dedicated to helping managers make layoff decisions, making sure laws and university policies are followed, and ensuring that the process is conducted in a humane fashion.

One of the 200 people attending the session asked Butterfield whether the scope of the program was an indication that many layoffs were expected.

"I don't anticipate large layoffs," Butterfield said. "I would want a program this extensive if there were only 20 layoffs."

There are about 150 layoffs in any given year, she said. Butterfield also said she did not expect the 1994 total to approach the 250 in 1989-90.

Butterfield also said the university would monitor the demographics of the layoff pool to ensure that women and minorities are not disproportionately affected by the reductions. She also pointed out that after the last two rounds of layoffs in recent years, the proportion of women and minorities on staff actually went up.



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