Nov 17, 2010

More than 100 NJN staffers receive layoff notices, but could survive cuts

The Associated Press is reporting that 130 employees of the New Jersey Network received 45-day layoff notices Tuesday (Nov. 16) as the pubTV and radio network prepares to break from state support (Current, July 6). Another 17 who are paid through a private foundation also are expected to receive pink slips soon. They're part of some 2,200 layoff notifications to state employees.

However, according to the Asbury Park Press, most of the terminations are unlikely to occur. The notices are a state civil service requirement.

"The staff has known for quite a while that they might possibly get these," acting NJN executive director Janice Selinger told Current. "There are instances in which layoff notices are recalled, and that might happen. We don’t know." In October, a task force that researching NJN's future called for a "dramatic reconfiguration" of the network, and rejected Gov. Chris Christie's Jan. 1 deadline.

Selinger said both the legislature and governor's reps have signaled they want the network to survive. Two bills are pending, including one to continue the task force's work.

"This is obviously not easy for the staff," Selinger said. "With all this uncertainty, they're being so professional." Work continues on fundraising and projects including the new NJ Fresh! show, which explores area farmers' markets.

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