Sacred Heart University furloughs some staff
BRIDGEPORT — Three weeks ago, Sacred Heart University announced it was instituting a hiring freeze and cutting salaries of top officials to deal with the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down campuses nationwide.
University officials confirmed on Thursday that the decision had been made to place on furlough employees whose workloads have significantly decreased since on-campus programs were stopped.
The furloughs take effect as of May 1, and will extend through the month of July.
The number of staff impacted and the departments they work in was not disclosed.
“The University is covering the complete cost of health care for furloughed employees while they are furloughed as long as they are enrolled in a University plan,” said Deb Noack, a university spokeswoman. “We are hopeful that, with their health care covered and the increases in unemployment benefits provided to the states by the federal government, that most of our furloughed employees will receive the equivalent of their full salaries.”
Sacred Heart joins a growing list of colleges that have taken similar action. Last month, the University of Bridgeport announced the layoff of 33 employees and furlough of another 93 in response to the closure of the campus because of the pandemic.
As of Friday, no one has been cut from the staff at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, according to John Morgan, a university spokesman.
At Quinnipiac, however, there was a temporary reduction in salaries for all employees beginning April 1 and running through June 30.
At Sacred Heart, President John Petillo said last month he was taking a 50 percent salary cut and that other senior leaders at the Catholic university have taken an across-the-board salary cut of 15 percent.
At the time, he warned additional measures were a possibility.