NEIU to layoff significant number of employees

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CHICAGO -- Over 100  employees at Northeastern Illinois University will be out of a job in the next six weeks because the school is trying to close a nearly 11 million dollar budget shortfall.

NEIU serves a growing minority population whose students are often first generation American and first in their families to go to college.

It’s a limit NEIU’s interim president saw coming all the way from Springfield.  Announcing the public university, on Chicago’s Northwest Side, would be forced to lay off 180 employees - 25 percent of its civil service and administrative staff because of the state budget debacle.

NEIU Interim President Richard Helldobler says the layoffs will impact, among others, staff in the financial aid, academic advising and other administration offices.

NEIU is just the latest casualty.

Last year, Chicago State announced hundreds of layoffs as well with the Democratic majority, lead by speaker Michael Madigan, locked in budget stalemate with Gov Rauner for 700 days.

“This is a Springfield issue,” Helldobler says. “Everyone’s going to have to make difficult decisions on both sides of the aisle and in the governor’s office. You’re not going to tax your way out of this and you’re not going to cut your way out of this.  You’re going to have to do both.”

From June through the end of September, NEIU says it must fill a 10.8 million dollar budget shortfall.  9 million comes from the layoffs announced today.  The rest from not filling open positions and other cuts.

Students and faculty say the cuts underline the toxic political atmosphere in the state, now impacting their abilities to succeed.