Friday, July 7, 2006

40 Archdiocesan workers get offer of early retirement; Cuts to avoid future budget shortfall

Forty employees of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have been offered early-separation packages to help forestall an anticipated budget crunch. Depending on how many employees of the Roman Catholic archdiocese accept the plan, other job cuts may follow, officials said.

Although the archdiocese is currently said to be in solid financial shape, it is seeking to reduce expenses by $4 million a year because of projected shortfalls in future years, officials told the Catholic Spirit, the official archdiocesan newspaper.

"One of the major causes of the situation we see ourselves in down the road is personnel costs, particularly escalating health-care costs,'' archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath said Thursday. "That's no different than General Motors or anybody. But the archbishop is insistent that we are as humane and Christian as we can possibly be in taking care of our people.''

The 40 employees eligible for the early-separation plan, as the archdiocese calls it, are those whose age and years of service add up to at least 75. The archdiocese has 159 full- and part-time employees, not including clergy. [snip] Pioneer Press

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