Sunday, March 30, 2003

Presbyterians to cut 10 employees

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has notified 10 employees that they will be laid off as the Louisville-based denomination cuts staff for the second year because of budget problems.

The denomination also plans to eliminate nine vacant positions, bringing to 85 the number of jobs cut at the headquarters over the last two years, according to John Detterick, executive director of the church's General Assembly Council.

The council, which runs most of the church's programs and services, had to make up a $3.1 million shortfall to balance a $127 million budget for the 2004 fiscal year, Detterick said. He said the church decided to cut $1.5 million in programs and draw on nearly $1.7 million in reserves to make up the shortfall.

Last year, the denomination cut 66 jobs at its headquarters, where nearly 500 people work in General Assembly Council offices.

The 10 workers who received layoff notices Friday include three managers and seven nonmanagement employees, officials said.

The cuts will have to be approved by two governing bodies: the General Assembly Council, which begins a three-day meeting in Louisville on Thursday, and the General Assembly, which meets in Denver in late May. Detterick said he expects those bodies will approve the cuts, as they did last year.

Detterick attributed the budget problems partly to the economic slump, which has resulted in lower collections and investment returns, and partly to rising expenses.

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