Following the Council of General Synod’s approval of the 2010 budget, which included a $450,000 reduction in operating costs, staff at the General Synod’s offices in Toronto met with management to hear about the impact, including staffing cuts.
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, explained that costs such as meetings, travel and some programs have been reduced “across the board.” However, in order to meet the commitment of reducing the deficit to $500,000 in 2010, staffing cuts — the equivalent of 6.5 full time positions – will also be made. (The budget goal is to completely eliminate deficits by 2012. Last year, the management team, advised by the Financial Management and Development Committee, unveiled a plan to steadily reduce deficits to $800,000 in 2009, to $500,000 in 2010, to $100,000 in 2011, then down to zero in 2012.)
Staff cuts are being handled on a department-by-department basis, taking into account factors such as imminent retirement, early retirement, job sharing or merging, scaling back full-time positions into part-time positions and reviews of contracts, said the primate. “It is a whole range of ways and means by which we will accomplish 6.5 equivalent full-time positions,” he said, noting that decisions about cuts to programs, grants and staff should be known by the first week in December.
Before approving the budget, CoGS members expressed their concern for staff who would be affected. Archbishop Hiltz said there was a similar regret within the management team. “People generally appreciate the work our staff do and acknowledge it and they feel badly when we have to cut. It’s never a place any of us want to be,” he said. Archbishop Hiltz also offered assurances that job losses would be handled “in the most humane and pastoral way we can, that respects and honours the work people have done with an appropriate severance package and way of saying thanks and farewell…. Of all places, you should expect that from the church,” he said.