Town of Greece lays off 15 part-time workers to cut costs amid COVID-19

Coronavirus

GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — Fifteen part-time employees with the Town of Greece have been laid off, Greece Deputy Supervisor Michelle Marini told News 8.

The layoffs come as a cost-saving measure, according to a statement from Bill Reilich, the Greece Town Supervisor.

“The Town has recently begun to implement cost-containment measures because we believe that we cannot require taxpayers to shoulder more expense than what is absolutely essential in times like this,” said Reilich’s statement.

“The Town does not enjoy laying off its valued employees, but these difficult times, unfortunately require all of us to do more with less,” continued the statement.

The layoffs began over the course of the last few weeks, Reilich said.

“We hope that these layoff[s] will be temporary but with the uncertainty of the virus and the economy, we cannot say whether the positions will be restored anytime soon,” Reilich’s statement added.

John Pusloskie, president of CWA Local 1170, which represents the town’s part-time workers, said employees were surprised when they received layoff letters in the mail.

“They’re really more than just part-time workers. They’re long-term employees providing service for the town. And many of them work 28 hours a week, you know, the big impact on this is that some of them are losing their health insurance,” said Pusloskie.

“Their meaning is more than just part-time to the Town of Greece citizens,” Pusloskie continued.

Pusloskie also raised concerns about whether employees would be paid vacation accruals. The town has argued that a layoff is not a circumstance which allows accruals to be paid, a point of disagreement between Pusloskie and the town.

“We followed the contract provisions for the part time union’s collective bargaining agreement,” said Marini. “The contract allows for vacation bank payouts only in certain circumstances. Lay-off is not one of the listed circumstances.”

“Most if not all of these part-time employees have been at home and getting paid since March 16th without working. Now they will be eligible for more in unemployment than while at work,” Marini added.

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