AFSCME Reacts to Possible Layoffs

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Urbana- The largest civil service employee union on the University of Illinois campus is not happy over an email sent out.

The email sent out to every employee on campus, informed everyone of a civil service employee hiring freeze effective April 18.

The email came as a shock to AFSCME Local 3700, which has 1,300 members. The union said they had been speaking with university administrators as late as April 15, and had no idea of the upcoming freeze for their employees.

Ann Zettervall, president of AFSCME Local 3700 says her employees were blindsided by the news, and are fearful of potential layoffs.

"They're scared. People have been asking a lot about layoffs and we kept telling them as far as we know they're not happening and now that's changed. This is how we make our living. It's going to destroy peoples lives" she said.

The email provided a time line for the hiring freeze, and then eventual layoffs. Layoff notices would be sent to affected employees by July 25, with the termination of the position effective August 27.

Zettervall said she has tried to reach out the university since receiving the email, but has not heard back from the administration.

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