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City of Staunton laying off 64 due to COVID-19

stauntonThe City of Staunton is laying off 64 part-time employees, citing operational disruptions and substantial revenue reductions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city had already instituted a hiring freeze, a freeze of non-essential operating and capital improvement expenditures, and the suspension and/or reduction of certain city programs and services beginning in mid-March.

“Unfortunately, given the unknown duration of the current public health emergency and disaster, we have decided to terminate employment of a number of part-time employees who are unable to work due to the suspension and/or reduction of city programs and services,” City Manager Steve Rosenberg said in announcing the action. “We arrived at this very difficult decision only after implementing all other reasonable alternatives and following a comprehensive review of position duties, and programs and services that are currently suspended and/or reduced.”

The separation date for affected employees will be April 24, with their last payroll checks to be processed on May 8.

The layoffs will allow affected employees access to unemployment benefits, and the city is providing information from the Virginia Employment Commission directly to each affected employee.

Rosenberg stresses that no positions are being eliminated.

“When the city moves forward into a recovery phase, and as we decide to restore programs and services, we will advertise and fill vacant positions. Affected employees will be encouraged to reapply for any position vacancy for which they are qualified,” he said.

City Council and Staunton staff will continue to rework the FY2021 budget to address the impact of the pandemic on the budget through a series of work sessions in April and early May.

A full schedule of meeting dates and times are available on the city’s COVID-19 website, and the public is strongly encouraged to stay informed and engaged as critical decisions are being made about the community’s future.