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FPU furloughs 30 workers

  • Franklin Pierce University Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/19/2020 9:44:07 AM

Franklin Pierce University has furloughed 30 full-time employees, and reduced hours for another 14, as the coronavirus crisis continues.

The university had previously announced its intentions to finish this year’s coursework online through a virtual teaching model, but according to FPU President Kim Mooney, had been able to keep its non-teaching staff employed at their usual rates for the past month. As the crisis carries on, however, the university has made the decision to temporarily furlough the majority of staff that cannot work remotely.

“Like those at many businesses in our region and colleges and universities nationwide, I had to make the very painful decision to suspend the work of some full-time employees, and reduce the hours of others, in light of the pandemic and the dramatically different operational needs of the university now that students, faculty and staff are no longer on site,” Mooney said in a statement to the Ledger-Transcript on Friday. “Our community at Franklin Pierce is close knit, and it is with exceptional sadness that these decisions and actions ‒ to place some 30 full-time employees on furlough and to reduce the hours of some others ‒ are required. Each impacts a colleague and a friend.”

The furloughed workers either cannot do their work remotely, or their jobs relate directly to having students on campus. Many are employees whose duties revolve around overseeing the facilities and grounds.

Franklin Pierce employees, including those at their Rindge campus as well as their satellite centers in Lebanon, Manchester, Portsmouth and Goodyear, Arizona, began to work remotely on March 18, prior to the official stay-at-home order issued by Governor Chris Sununu on March 27. Classes were suspended the week of March 23, following the university’s Spring break, and remote classes began on March 30.

Since March 27, Mooney said the college has been supporting its employees, including those who were not able to maintain a full-time work schedule, with full salary and benefits.

“In the month since, we explored all of our options and found that it is imperative to take these actions now both to mitigate the strain on Franklin Pierce’s financial health, which has been strong in recent years, and to ensure that all affected employees can benefit fully from the federal and state stimulus funds now being offered,” Mooney said. “We will of course continue to support and assist these colleagues. And it is my sincere hope that in the coming months we can welcome each and every one of them back to Franklin Pierce.”

It is the intention of the university at this time that the furloughed employees eventually will return to their positions.

“The plan is to have all furloughed employees return to Franklin Pierce as soon as possible and prudent,” Kenneth Phillips, Director of Communications for the university said Friday. “While on furlough, these colleagues will maintain all health benefits, including dental and vision, and will be able to collect unemployment and the $600 per week stimulus.”


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.



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