In an earlier post – one that addressed whether or not the paper would allow members to volunteer AFTER layoffs had been announced – I noted that, in the past, we have had (advertising) individuals step up late in the process, only to have the company decide to expand the layoff and not keep people on the job. Now, it seems, we’re seeing something like that again.
A top-of-scale member from another department volunteered to go and the company has informed me that his departure will not count against the (up to) ten cuts that are needed from the newsroom. I cannot speak for the company but suppose that they have received orders that the cuts MUST come from that particular department.
Additionally, this office recently contacted P-D Human Resources to express concern that, since those leaving can no longer count on retiree medical, the possibility of a lot of volunteers coming forward at this point seemed unlikely. We asked if the company would consider adding a component to the process where the company would pick up our members COBRA costs for the 18 months that they are eligible – or even a year. We felt that such a move might make leaving more affordable and might be a deciding factor for some of our more senior members. We were informed they would look into it and were later informed that it had been discussed with everyone and they were told, “No way.”
A few people have spoken with human resources to express interest in the lay off, but there is currently no official number as to how many will actually volunteer to be laid off.