State Managers Create Employee Panic With RIF Notices, Then Run Away From Answering Questions

Memo actually instructs employees with questions to call VSEA!!!

Manager writes: "No one has any idea what will happen between now and 06/30/09." So why are managers telling employees now about potential RIFs?

From: McGurran, Ileen
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 9:51 AM
Subject: Reduction

To Regional Managers:
I would like you to speak to your employees regarding the following: VDOL HR will not be responding to requests for vertical displacement lists, geographical area mileage charts, employees’ seniority dates or any other similar types of information.  I suspect that VDOL staff members are requesting this type of information so that they can informally figure out “who is bumping whom”.  
The reasons why VDOL HR will not respond to these types of requests are as follows:
1.      No one has any idea what will happen between now and 06/30/09.  There is too much up in the air at the state level.    Also, between now and 06/30/09, some VDOL employees may retire, transfer, or leave state government.
2.      It is virtually impossible for employees to determine “who bumps whom”.  There are a variety of factors taken into consideration that most people have no knowledge about.  In addition, when it comes displacement rights some employees have two or more displacement options and you never know what option will be chosen.
3.       Nothing is “official” until an employee receives a letter from this Department outlining their potential displacement options and/or other pertinent information.  At minimum, these letters must go to affected employees at least 35 days prior to the date of position elimination. In the past, employees have tried to informally determine“who bumps whom” and find out they were wrong or are surprised when no letter is received because they were told by co-workers that they were going to get bumped.
If employees insist on this information, they should contact VSEA.
The short version is that VDOL HR doesn’t want any part of encouraging employee speculation.
VDOL HR will become involved when official notices are to be given to the employees.
In addition, we have been receiving calls from a variety of employees relating to the reductions.  Employees are upset or nervous.   Co-workers should be sensitive to this and not make comments for example “when you are gone I want your office or I have more seniority than you.” 
Ileen H. McGurran, PHR
Human Resources Administrator
Vermont Department of Labor
P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, VT  05601-0488
[phone] 802-828-4170     [fax] 802-828-4181