40 Employees Let Go In Lawrence
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Lawrence, Mass.—Dozens of city employees were laid off in Lawrence Tuesday, one week before Christmas.
NewsCenter 5’s Rhondella Richardson reported that city leaders said that in order to present a balanced budget, the cuts had to be made before the end of the year.
The city had to cut $500,000 out of a $94 million budget. The layoffs have been feared for months. Seven people were laid off from a public library. Unless a city council approves water rate increases and more fees, there could be more layoffs.
"When I started here in 2001, we had three full-timers. We will have one when I leave here today," nurse Catherine Ouellette said.
She is one of 40 city employees laid off. DPW and the water department took the biggest hit, losing 19 employees.
"We lost two of our five staff members — about 40 percent," City Clerk Phil Maloney said. "
The little money that they do make — they live paycheck to paycheck," Local 3 Union Representative Lisa Ireson said. "So, they are very distraught. They are in tears. They don’t know what to do.
" Workers were told that the layoffs were not about their performances — but about money.
Adding to the pain, the superintendent of schools and the city council may be getting raises. "The timing of the superintendent’s review, I can’t change that," said Budget and Finance Director Mark Andrews.