Eastern lays off 3 electricians

Stephanie Markham, Editor-in-Chief

With layoffs on the horizon for some Eastern employees, three of the university’s electricians have already lost their jobs.

John Warner, the Eastern representative for Illinois Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 146, said three electricians would be out of work starting Friday.

Warner said upper management told the workers they would be laid off.

“As construction-type workers, we know it’s just the nature of the beast we work in,” he said.

Warner said he would like to see the number of students at Eastern increase so the electricians would be able to do their jobs.

“A lot of the infrastructure of the buildings are falling apart,” he said.

He said all three of the electricians have lower seniority, which means they are first in line when the university is looking to let people go.

Warner said they are also fulltime employees and are still considered to have status at Eastern.

“They will have recall to come back once work picks up,” he said.

The electricians will be able to work for a contractor through their union hall until work is available again at Eastern if they choose to do so, he said.

Warner said his union does not have plans to attempt negotiations with the university.

“It’s just the nature of the beast,” he said. “It’s going to happen.”

President David Glassman announced through email June 30 that layoffs would begin in July to counteract a potential $12 million to $14 million deficit in the university’s budget, declining enrollment and the uncertainty of state funding.

He also stated in an interview July 1 that the layoffs would affect all areas of the university, and the vice presidents would have to make suggestions on whom to let go in their areas by the end of the month.

Information about layoffs in other areas of the university will be shared when it becomes available.

Stephanie Markham can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].