GOLDBERG'S MESSAGE TO PD STAFF

Submitted by Roldo on Mon, 12/01/2008 - 14:49.

The following is the message to Plain Dealer reporters from Editor Susan Goldberg that will mean 27 people will find out with a phone call that their services are no longer required.

It gives privacy, says Goldberg, not to mention a cold message of job loss. Couldn't it have been handled more humanly?

Here's the message:

Colleagues:

As you all know, we previously announced the need to reduce our staff size.

Unfortunately, there was insufficient participation in the voluntary buyout program. Therefore, we must reduce our workforce by 27 bargaining unit positions. Here is how that procedure will work:

If you are in the bargaining unit, no matter what your shift or schedule, please be reachable by phone tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 2) between 7:00 am to 9:30 am. I will be calling the people who have been selected for layoff during that time. If you do not receive a phone call by 9:30 am, please report to work at your regularly scheduled start time.

There is no good way to tell anyone he or she has been laid off. We have chosen to do it this way because I believe it respects and protects the laid off person's privacy when receiving such traumatic news. In a world of bad options, this seems the best alternative.

If you receive a phone call, we will set up a time for you to come in to meet with Human Resources, fill out paperwork and pick up your personal belongings. All people who are being laid off will no longer come to work beginning Dec. 2, but will be paid for the following two weeks, in addition to their full severance.

Please open the "editorial utilities" icon on your desktop and click on "home phones" to make sure that your home and cell phone numbers are correct. Those are the numbers I will call. If corrections need to be made, please send them to Loreen at loiler [at] plaind [dot] com. She will get the correct numbers into the system by tonight.

I regret very much that I will have to make even one call, let alone 27, but The Plain Dealer must reduce its workforce to remain a viable enterprise. I appreciate in advance your professionalism.

Susan.

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