Mike: With this Weekend Update I want to show how the taxpayer funded services that people consider the “most important” within their communities are the first to get cut from budgets  –  protective services and teachers. We all hear how schools need more money to provide a quality education and how police and fire departments need more personnel to keep us safe, but when it comes to the budget ax they are often the first to suffer. If you know of any schools that are reducing staff, pass them along and I’ll be sure to post them:

POTSDAM — At least 15 full-time jobs and 11 part-time positions, as well as all extracurricular activities, are on the chopping block at Potsdam Central School.

The Board of Education’s Finance Committee pored over a worst-case-scenario list of $1.5 million in potential budget cuts at a meeting Thursday afternoon.

via Watertown Daily Times | Potsdam school jobs, programs at risk.

As the Legislature struggles to prevent a projected deficit of $41.8 billion by 2010, cuts to education are on the table.

Republicans have proposed a package of cuts to education totaling more than $10 billion over the next 18 months; Democrats countered with cuts that would slash $7 billion in education, health care and prison funding.

State Schools Chief Jack O’Connell warned that impacts from the shortfall if the legislature does nothing would be devastating.

They include laying off 160,000 classroom teachers, increasing class sizes by 50 percent, slashing per-student spending by roughly $1,200, and eliminating programs such as music, art and technical-career education.

via Schools brace for layoffs | thecalifornian.com | The Salinas Californian.

Mike: Hmmm…., when the economy is in good shape there is more need for mental health care? Ok… 

Albemarle Mental Health Center is cutting more than 80 staff positions and closing its community clinics as it steps away from “direct services” to work entirely through private service providers.

The move marks the end of AMHC’s battle with state mental health officials to continue operating the services.

via AMHC cuts jobs, closing clinics – News | DailyAdvance.com .

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Friday how it will cut its school year budget by $5.3 million without implementing any layoffs.

CMS officials said they split the budget reductions almost equally between school-based spending and the central administration. They said because enrollment fell below projections at the start of the school year, the district had $2.7 million it could cut from schools, including $2.1 million from 39 vacant teacher positions.

via Gorman Concerned About Future CMS Budget Cuts – Charlotte News Story – WSOC Charlotte.

Mike: It’s always nice to look forward to spending some additional time waiting in line at the DMV!

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Clerk Bradford Kendall announced that effective January 1, he will be forced to cut back the hours of the motor vehicle offices in Millbrook and Wappinger.

via Covering the Hudson to the Catskills! DMV hours cut.

No more color-coded days, or block scheduling next year for any student in the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. will mean more instructional time for the students and less teachers. That adds up to a cost savings from $700,000 to $937,500.

That change was made official at Thursday night’s school board meeting with a unanimous vote.

The move to all schools being seven-periods will eliminate some teaching positions. Superintendent Dennis Brooks estimated that the change will cut anywhere from 14 to 20 positions. Those may be reached with retirements, attrition or a Reduction in Force (layoffs).

via The News and Tribune – All New Albany-Floyd County middle/high schools to go to 7-period days.

MERRILL — Teachers at Merrill Area Public Schools this year will prepare for some layoffs earlier than expected, board president Jeff Verdoorn said.

Verdoorn proposed $448,333 in reductions for the 2009-10 district budget Monday out of concern that the next state budget could have lower-than-expected revenue-cap increases. Board members approved these changes, which include cutting three middle school teachers and two literacy coaches who help students improve their reading skills.

via Merrill School Board OKs ramped-up teacher layoffs | wausaudailyherald.com | Wausau Daily Herald.

FACING a $16 million budget gap, the City of Yonkers is expected to lay off 151 full- and part-time employees, including police officers and firefighters, by Jan. 1.

via Yonkers – Yonkers Bracing for an Expected 151 Layoffs – NYTimes.com.

The institutional heads will have to identify a plan for making the cuts by Jan. 9. The methods may include hiring freezes, leaving vacant positions unfilled, furlough among other measures, according to a regent statement.

via Regents to cut $17.5 million | press-citizen.com | Iowa City Press Citizen.

Mike: After all, who needs to teach ethics in honest times such as these. Madoff and Enron, anyone?

Like many others who have recently become unemployed, she didn’t think her job as an administrative assistant at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Ethics was in jeopardy.

“We knew there were financial problems,” Thompson said. “We thought they might take a look at us in six months, but we didn’t know it’d be this soon.”

Vanderbilt administration elected to close the Center for Ethics at the end of this year as part of its budget cuts, showing that even universities are not immune to the recent economic downturn.

via Budget cuts force VU to close ethics center | www.tennessean.com | The Tennessean.

Mike: More irony:

LAKE MARY, Fla. – At a time of so many unemployment issues, another Workforce Central Florida office is slated to close for good.

The only Workforce office in Seminole County was out of business on Friday because of budget cuts.

via Workforce Central Fla. Closes 2nd Office – News- msnbc.com.

Forsyth County employees have been told not to expect raises next year, and 26 of them are losing their jobs. It’s all because of the economy. And, in Dawson County, officials there have stopped accepting recyclable plastics and glass, another fallout from the economy.

Forsyth County spokeswoman Jodi Gardner said the layoffs are in departments directly related to development in the county – engineering, code enforcement and planning and zoning.

A total of 23 of 32 maintenance workers are expected to lose their jobs today as part of the district’s massive layoff plan.

The district will lay off 20 percent of its workforce in an attempt to rectify a $10.1 million financial shortfall. The layoffs, approved by the school board earlier this week, will primarily affect maintenance workers, security guards and clerks.

via Edcouch-Elsa layoffs begin | edcouch, received, fred – Local – Brownsville Herald.

via Forsyth layoffs, pay raise freezes | AccessNorthGa.

Layoffs could be coming to Valley schools in the wake of a state budget shortfall.

School officials from all over the state, including here in the Valley, met with Governor Tim Kaine today in Richmond.

Waynesboro City Schools Superintendent Robin Crowder says his budget is already a million dollars lighter than it was last year, and with the state facing a shortfall in the billions for the coming year, things don’t look promising.

Dr. Crowder says, “When 83% of your budget is about salaries and benefits, there’s not a lot of places you can go because the stuff that’s non-salary is around electricity, gas

via School Layoffs Around the Corner?.

For the first time in its 21-year history, New Sabina Industries has placed associates on indefinite layoff.

All 23 laid-off employees worked on either the second or third shift at the plant.

“As you can imagine, we’re going through a grieving period,” Senior Manager Jack Filkins said Friday. The workers were informed Thursday of the layoffs.

via A first — New Sabina lays off 23.

Citizens Financial Group says it is laying off 900 employees.

Mike Jones, a spokesman for the financial services company, said the employees affected by the layoffs will be notified in the coming year.

via Citizens Financial Group to lay off 900 workers – Forbes.com.

Sovereign Bank announced on Friday it is cutting 1,000 jobs in an effort to reduce costs amid the economic downturn.

The layoffs will affect 131 employees of all positions here in Massachusetts.

via wbztv.com – Sovereign Bank To Layoff 100+ Mass. Workers .

Aspyr today confirmed to Kotaku that yesterday’s rumors of layoffs at their Austin-based studios are true.

The company declined to say how many people have been laid off, but did send this official statement to us.

via Disturbance In The Workforce: Aspyr Confirms Layoffs, Sources Say As Much As A Third.

Shenandoah’s Eaton Corp-oration reduced an additional 49 manufacturing employees from their workforce, bringing the total number of displaced Eaton workers to 109.

via SW Iowa News – Eaton announces layoffs; 49 more jobs eliminated.

WGBH-TV (Ch. 2) plans to lay off about a dozen employees over the coming weeks, the latest local media outlet forced to cut staff amid a dire economy.

The cuts represent less than 2 percent of the public TV station’s 960 employees, said WGBH spokeswoman Lucy Sholley.

via WGBH Channel 2 schedules dozen layoffs – BostonHerald.com.

The unemployment rate in the San Jose region rose to 7.2 percent in November as the number of non-farm workers dropped by 4,300 from a year ago.

The California Employment Development Department reported Friday that a gain of about 500 information workers and 2,600 in health/education offset somewhat the loss of 2,300 in manufacturing and 2,100 in construction. Other sectors reporting big job cuts were finance (1,400), services (400) and hospitality (400).

via Silicon Valley jobless rate up amid thousands of job cuts: bizjournals.com Business News – MSN Money.

INDIANAPOLIS — Add the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the list of sports institutions hit by the recession.

Speedway officials have completed their budget review and some positions have already been eliminated, though spokesman Fred Nation did not provide a figure. Speedway officials have also implemented a hiring freeze and acknowledge more jobs could be lost next year if the economy continues to fizzle.

via The Canadian Press: Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials expecting some job cuts in 2009.

The Normandin family auto dealership, which started out as a horse buggy shop in 1875, has survived the Great Depression, two world wars and the 1970s oil shock. But never has business been this bad.

“We’ve been doing this for a very long time, generations,” said Mark Normandin, president and general manager of his family’s Chrysler-Jeep dealership on Capitol Expressway Auto Mall in San Jose. “And we can honestly say we’ve never seen it quite like this ever.”

via California auto dealers hit hard by bad economy – San Jose Mercury News.

Washington’s Employment Security Department is warning of a web scam that charges people $9.95 to file unemployment claims and other web scams.

There is no charge to file for unemployment benefits in the state of Washington, officials said.

They said that several web sites pop up each year to help unemployed workers collected benefits, many times for a fee. They add that not all sites are illegal, but many are confusing, inaccurate and unnecessary.

via Washington warns of unemployment web scams – Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle): .

HONOLULU (KHNL) – First bankruptcy and now lay-offs for one of the state’s largest local retailers.

Late Monday afternoon, more than 30 employees of Hilo Hattie found out they no longer have jobs.

Big drops in sales and number of visitors to the islands are blamed for the company’s cutback.

via KHNL NBC 8 Honolulu Hawaii |Plunging tourist numbers blamed for layoffs at Hilo Hattie.

Reporting from Sacramento — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday ordered mass layoffs and unpaid furloughs for state workers starting in February to address California’s growing fiscal crisis.

Under his executive order, 238,000 employees will be forced to take off two unpaid days per month through June 30, 2010. Managers will receive either the furlough or an equivalent salary reduction during the same period.

via Schwarzenegger orders mass layoffs, unpaid furloughs – Los Angeles Times.

Mike: An excellent discussion of California’s economic problems can be seen at:

Inquiring minds are investigating the rapidly deteriorating economic conditions in California. Let’s take a look at the lowlights starting with Schwarzenegger May Order Unpaid Leave for Employees

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: California Implodes In Multiple Ways.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called on the Legislature on Friday to convene a new special legislative session to tackle the state’s fiscal crisis and ordered layoffs and mandatory unpaid time off for state workers as a money-saving measure.

The executive orders came a day after Schwarzenegger promised to veto Democratic lawmakers’ $18 billion budget package that the Legislature approved in a controversial, simple-majority vote to wrap up a previous special session that the governor called on Dec. 1.

via Governor orders layoffs, unpaid time off.

Reporting from Los Angeles and Sacramento — A loss of nearly 42,000 jobs last month pushed California’s unemployment rate to 8.4%, a 14-year high and the third-highest jobless rate in the country.

California’s November unemployment figure lagged behind only Michigan with its crippled automobile industry at 9.6% and Rhode Island at 9.3% after job cuts this year in retail, manufacturing and services.

via California posts 8.4% jobless rate, third highest in U.S. – Los Angeles Times.

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) A Devils Lake business that’s been in operation more than 38 years says it has planned permanent layoffs.

Warren, Minn.-based Nordic Fiberglass says 14 of its Devils Lake employees will lose their jobs after Jan. 1.

via Devils Lake business announces layoffs | KXNet.com North Dakota News.

Sun-Times Media Group Inc. disclosed late Friday that it has tentatively decided to shutter its 153-employee production facility in suburban Plainfield by next April.

The publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and other area papers said it intends to sell the 100,000-square-foot facility and shift the printing work done there to Sun-Times media’s production plant on Ashland Avenue in Chicago.

via Sun-Times to close Plainfield printing plant — chicagotribune.com.

RACELAND, Ky. — Progress Rail will furlough 71 hourly employees, about half of its work force, at its Raceland Car Shops in northeastern Kentucky for an indefinite period.

Woody Lane, chairman of Brotherhood of Railway Carmen Local 6634, which represents hourly workers at the car shops, says workers received notice Thursday.

via Kentucky.com State & Regional – Wire.

BREWER, Maine (AP) Forty-five workers at a Maine auto parts plant are being furloughed for three to four weeks because of the downturn in the car manufacturing industry.

The temporary layoffs at the ZF Lemforder plant in Brewer were precipitated by shutdowns by General Motors and Mercedes, said Bryan Johnson, spokesman for ZF Group in Northville, Mich. With no cars being manufactured, there is no demand for the steering components made at the Brewer facility, he said.

via wbztv.com – Maine Wire .

Mike: The following site also contains an audio clip:

Weekend Edition Saturday, December 20, 2008 · Big publishing companies such as Random House are in the midst of cost-cutting, layoffs, and corporate restructuring. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has stopped acquiring manuscripts for the rest of this year.

via No Happy Holidays For Publishing : NPR.

MOUNT VERNON — Rumors have been circulating that the Mount Vernon plant of Sanoh of America has laid off a significant number of workers. The layoffs were said to be on the third shift.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis said he had not heard anything about layoffs at Sanoh. He said federal regulations require companies to notify local governments about major layoffs at local plants. Mavis said if this was a nonpermenant or seasonal layoff, the regulations might not apply

via-  Layoffs rumored at Sanoh –  

OWEGO — Sanmina-SCI Corp. in Owego conducted another round of layoffs recently, the state Labor Department confirmed, but corporate officials refuse to discuss the cutbacks.

“Last weekend, they let go a little more than 50 people,” Labor Department spokeswoman Jean Genovese said Friday.

via More job cuts for Sanmina | pressconnects.com | Press & Sun-Bulletin.

Southfield (WWJ)  — Big job reductions coming at auto parts supplier Federal-Mogul.  The Southfield-based firm announcing it is expanding its cost-cutting program to eliminate an additional 4,600 jobs, about ten percent of its total work force.

via WWJ Newsradio 950 – Auto Supplier To Cut 4,600 Jobs.

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. said late Thursday it plans to close its Tulsa, Okla., plant and scale back operations at its facility in Bellwood, Va., affecting a combined 170 employees.

The moves “are a result of deteriorating economic and market conditions,” Kaiser said. The company expects to take a resulting fourth-quarter charge of $6 million to $10 million.

via Kaiser Aluminum closes Okla. plant, cuts jobs – Forbes.com.


Mike: For those interested in hearing NY Gov. Patterson discuss his budget proposals, here’s a link to his Bill Moyers interview from Friday:

Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS.


Mike: You know it’s tough times when the slammer is more desirable than freedom:

One measure of how tough times are in the Motor City: Some of the offenders in jail don’t want to be released; some who do get out promptly re-offend to head back where there’s heat, health care and three meals a day.

“For the first time, I’m seeing guys make a conscious decision they’ll be better off in prison than in the community, homeless and hungry,” said Joseph Williams of New Creations Community Outreach, which assists ex-offenders. “In prison they’ve got three hots and a cot, so they commit a crime to go back in and come out when times are better.”

via ABC News: Motor City’s Woes Extend Beyond Auto Industry.

Mike: The economic  outlook is rather overcast in the sunshine state:

Florida lost more jobs in November than any other state as the pain that started in home construction continued spreading to other parts of the economy.

The state’s employment level fell by 58,600 workers from October, according to federal numbers released Friday. Florida’s unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent, the highest since June 1993 and well above the national rate of 6.7 percent for November.

via Florida leads nation in job losses – St. Petersburg Times.

Mike: An informative article from Business Week about the auto companies:

As of the New Year, taxpayers will pretty much own General Motors, as well as Chrysler until that automaker is stripped or its assets flipped into GM. That’s because the market value of the two companies is less than the total amount the government is lending them to stay afloat, and because taxpayers are getting stock warrants in the companies equal to 20% of the loans.

During the hearings for an auto bailout, there was plenty said about America’s carmakers and the United Auto Workers. Some criticism was dead on, but much of it was either way off base or exaggerated. As is most often the case when rhetoric and politics rule the day, the truth really lies in nuance. Here’s our Detroit team, David Kiley and David Welch, to sort out the fact from the hot air:

via Ten Things The Taxpayer Should Know About The U.S. Auto Industry Now That They Own It – BusinessWeek.

Mike: As US companies use federal tax breaks to offshore work and facilities, those workers that remain in US facilities will be forced to accept lower wages. Making working Americans poorer can make companies richer. Unfortunately, it’s a race to the bottom for many worker’s salaries:

CEREDO — The American National Rubber plant in Ceredo closed a few days ago, putting dozens of workers on the unemployment line.

Another company now owns the plant and its assets, and they’re already advertising to hire workers.

However, the replacement positions are for much lower salaries than the laid-off workers were receiving. It appears those workers would have to re-apply for their old jobs.

–  Replacement positions are for much lower salaries –  

Mike: If America is headed for another depression, Michigan will likely lead the way:

Those are two of the words you’ll hear if you were to call (810) 629-8900, the former phone number for Fenton Cinemas. The movie theater closed its doors for good Dec. 7, after 23 years of business and it’s not the only Fenton business that has been effected by hard economic conditions.

Acument Global Technologies — a mechanical fastening producer dependent on the auto industry — announced the closing of its Fenton and Holly plants, effective for 2009, and Fenton-based Creative Foam Corporation is feeling the economic pinch as well. The lagging Michigan economy will likely be the source of more business casualties in the future.

via Tough economic times closes Fenton Cinemas, Acument Global Technologies; rumors of Creative Foam closing are “not true” – Fenton Press – MLive.com .


Washington area residents who count on low-wage work to make ends meet are having difficulty finding employment as a tight labor market and a more experienced pool of job applicants squeeze opportunities, according to job counselors and labor experts.

Low-skilled workers increasingly find themselves in competition against highly skilled, college-educated applicants who have either lost their jobs because of the weakening economy or are seeking seasonal or part-time work to help stretch their incomes.

via Low-Skilled Workers Struggle Amid More Competition and Fewer Openings – washingtonpost.com.


Car wash maker Ryko Manufacturing will extend a seasonal shut down of its plant in Grimes until at least Jan. 31 because of the economy, the company said Friday.

The expected four-week shutdown will be the longest the plant has ever been closed, said Dean Cherami, vice president of marketing.

via Ryko Manufacturing extends shut down of Grimes plant | DesMoinesRegister.com | The Des Moines Register.

Nine employees have already lost their jobs. There are only 200 total workers at the casino hotel, so the nine workers laid off accounts for almost five percent of the total staff.

via Another Casino, The Silver Club, Closing Up Shop In Nevada.

Musashi Auto Parts will lay off 55 workers for two weeks starting Feb. 17, the company said in a Friday notice to state and local government units.

via Musashi Auto to lay off 55 workers | battlecreekenquirer.com | The Enquirer.

A Devils Lake business is planning to lay off more than a dozen workers permanently. Minnesota based Nordic Fiberglass is almost 40 years old. 14 of its Devils Lake employees will lose their jobs after January First.

via KFYR-TV North Dakota’s NBC News Leader.

CHICAGO – United Airlines has warned its flight attendants union that it may seek to cut 250 more jobs in January, after furloughing 1,550 flight attendants earlier this fall.

The Association of Flight Attendants said Chicago-based United said Friday night it would decide whether it needs the deeper cuts by Jan. 9.

via United warns of more possible layoffs — chicagotribune.com.

Back when home sales were soaring and scores of commercial real estate pro-jects were breaking ground or being announced, Jonathan Brinsden would see one or two résumés a week come across his desk from job seekers with little experience trying to break into the business.

Now, the chief operating officer for a Houston-based commercial real estate firm says he’s getting up to 40 résumés a month from seasoned professionals who have lost their jobs.

via Recession carves away at real estate jobs | Business | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

DeWITT- Magna Powertrain has announced an indefinite layoff of 216 hourly employees at its New Process Gear (NPG) plant in DeWitt, effective the week of Dec. 22, according to a spokesperson for Magna International of America, Inc.

A company statement describes the employees as “team members,” but doesn’t say what roles they play at NPG. A spokesperson also says the layoffs are indefinite because NPG’s work plans are contingent upon its customers’ production schedules.

via CNYBJ:Single News Article.



Mike: How the rich get richer at the expense of the middle class taxpayer:



Mike: Since it is the weekend, I’ll offer a couple of laughs. First, there’s this rather humerous employment angle called “The Job.”



Mike: And now for something completely different – and silly



As factories have declared bankruptcy and laid off workers, the city’s economy has contracted. Stores have closed, and construction has stopped on some real estate developments.

On Monday night, a street that was packed with workers only a few months ago was largely empty.

“No one is going to the restaurants, and the hotels aren’t making any money,” Cao said as he drove along the quiet street.

In a sign certain to worry Beijing, protests have spread in the city. Last month, hundreds of workers smashed windows and equipment at a toy factory after management fired hundreds of people without paying termination fees required by Chinese laws, according to Cao and Chinese media reports.

Strong economy, fewer protests

Because Beijing requires companies to pay laid-off workers one month of salary for every year they have worked, “many owners just take whatever cash they have and flee,” Cao said.

via Recession in U.S. is bringing job cuts, unrest to China.


Mike: That’s it for this frosty Weekend Update. Till Monday……..

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