Facilities and Services must come clean

Over the past few months, Facilities and Services (F&S;) at the University began a series of layoffs in the various trade shops. The majority of the layoffs have come from the pipe trades.

Many concerns with how F&S; has carried out its layoff of pipefitting personnel have been brought to management’s attention.

Not only are pipefitting personnel questioning the manner in which the F&S; management handled the layoffs, but they are also questioning the ethical manner in which the layoffs were conducted.

The F&S; management has relied on the reasoning that pipefitter layoffs were necessary due to a lack of work in campus departments as well as an overall downturn in Illinois’ economy.

Though there may be validity to these reasons, the F&S; management has had a hand in making these reasons come to fulfillment through their lack of leadership.

They are not immune, nor excused, for their contribution to the lack of departmental work on campus or for budgetary problems at the University and in the state as a whole.

There is more to this pipefitter layoff issue than simply the matters of departmental work and the flow of state money to the University. Issues such as honesty, truthfulness, integrity and accountability are at its core. Illinois taxpayers deserve better leadership from those in positions of authority who control our money. It’s very convenient for the F&S; management to say, “We had to lay off people because of budget issues,” (citing a myriad of balance sheet numbers, inadequate funding from the state legislature, and the constraints of soliciting work for the F&S; employees) and then walk away from the casualties of the process.

It’s a much harder thing, though, for the F&S; management to acknowledge that they are part of the cause for the pipefitter layoffs through their lack of leadership and by their dishonesty is not dealing with internal issues within the pipefitter shop. It’s time for the F&S; management to own up to their own mistakes and be responsible.

Terry Teirney

former pipefitter