Thousands of people were making their voices heard about job security outside Yale University on Thursday afternoon.
They rallied because Yale is cutting staff and services.
Union workers with Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital gathered on Thursday evening.
Workers said there have been layoffs and chronic understaffing issues, and said work is being outsourced.
A few streets in the area were blocked off just as rush hour was underway, including College Street between Wall and Elm streets, and Cedar Street between Congress Avenue and York Street.
In a statement, Yale said "Overall state Medicaid payments to Yale-New Haven Hospital are being cut by $160 million as a result of state funding reductions. The hospital is passing a comparable reduction-which amounts to about $18 million-along to services it funds at Yale School of Medicine, particularly the school's clinical departments and Yale Medical Group, which is the faculty medical practice unit. This large of a reduction in revenue will require Yale School of Medicine to make significant cost reductions, and the school will work tirelessly to minimize the impact on the faculty and staff. Given that the largest part of Yale's budget is compensation for staff, there will necessarily be some staff reductions.
Whenever there any layoffs at Yale, unionized clerical and technical staff receive 90 days' notice, and continue to work in their existing jobs during that time, while looking for alternative positions at Yale. Employees who are notified of layoff receive priority over other candidates in their job search. If they have not secured a regular position within the 90 days, they then may elect a benefit of up to 15 months, sometimes extended to as much as 22 months, of employment in Yale's Interim Employment Pool, with the duration of the benefit depending on years of service and the number of staff in the Interim Employment Pool. During both the 90 days' notice and Interim Employment, staff members continue to receive full pay and benefits.
While in Interim Employment, staff are assigned to temporary positions and encouraged to interview for other jobs at the university, with the goal of placement in another position within three months. In addition, a team of union members provides job counseling and placement support. In recent years, the university and union have collaborated on improvements to the placement process for laid-off staff. Eighty percent of staff who enter the Interim Employment Pool and seek re-employment find another position within their benefit period.
Local 34, the union for clerical & technical workers at Yale University, mounted a public campaign in spring 2015, expressing concern that the university might choose, as some Universities have done, to create a new organization for the physician enterprise under YNHH and thus move some unionized clinical workers to the Hospital and to jobs outside their union. This is NOT contemplated and the University has provided multiple assurances to staff and to union leaders that there is no current plan to move bargaining unit jobs to the hospital. This commitment remains in place. We want to emphasize that the he current anticipated layoffs at YSM are NOT related to moving work to the hospital. They are the direct result of funding cuts to the medical school created by the State's cuts to YNHH."
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