In the past two months, University officials have fired more than 20 employees in an effort to streamline the central administration. And officials in charge of the restructuring project said they have been very successful in finding new jobs for the dismissed workers. But some remaining staff members said they are concerned that when the program is in full force, jobs for fired employees will not come as easily. Both administrators and other employees said until restructuring progresses further, it will be impossible to determine the success of the efforts to find the fired workers new jobs. Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Phyllis Lewis said the aggressive placement programs have relocated fired employees both within and outside the University. She added that she was not certain how many positions have been eliminated, or where those employees have been relocated. Human Resources will issue a report next week that will examine the first two months of restructuring in detail. Lewis said the primary goal in dealing with employees who were fired as a result of restructuring is to find them another job within the University. But A-3 Assembly Chairperson Karen Wheeler, whose group represents employees paid hourly, said her constituents are concerned that it may be difficult to find another job within the University, the administration's efforts notwithstanding. "We don't want to feel as though the worker displaced though administrative restructuring is basically left out in the cold," Wheeler said. As restructuring progresses and more positions are eliminated, the placement program may not be as successful as it is now, Lewis added. But she said the University has hired a placement firm specifically to find A-3's jobs outside of the University if internal jobs cannot be found. She added that it is simply too early in the process to evaluate whether there will be problems with the placement programs. "There is lots of puzzlement about how all this is going to work out," Lewis said. "We don't have enough experience for people to have information on which to base their judgments. It's tough to tell where the actual points of anxiety are going to be." University employees said that at this stage, they have little reason to doubt that the administration has their interests in mind. "They haven't done anything significant yet in terms of phasing out positions that we can really judge," said Ira Winston, chairperson of the Penn Professional Staff Assembly. "[Executive Vice President] John Fry was saying all the right things. What can you do but sort of take the man at his word?"Comments powered by Disqus
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