Rider University to furlough about 120 employees for the summer, reduce July and August pay, and freeze salaries for non-union employees

Rider University informed employees this week that the school will implement more cost-cutting measures because of the pandemic, including furloughing about 120 employees for the summer, reducing summer pay for others, and freezing salaries for all non-union employees for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The university will pay all employees through June but will furlough employees for all or part of July and August. Furloughed employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits, and officials said the university will pay the normal share of their cost of health benefits. Full-time employees not identified for furlough who normally work during the summer months will be transitioned to a reduced workweek and reduced pay for July and August. Employees earning $50,000 per year or more will work a four-day workweek with a 20% reduction in pay from July 1 through August 31. Employees earning less than $50,000 per year will work a four-day workweek with a 10% reduction in pay from July 1 through August 31. Part-time employees will also work reduced hours during July and August.

Senior administrators, including cabinet members and deans, will have their salaries reduced 20% for July and August, and then will return to a 10% salary reduction in September and October. Rider University President Greg Dell’Omo’s pay is being cut by 25% from May through October.

Dell’Omo informed employees of the cost-cutting measures in an email on Monday.

“As the days pass and the pandemic ebbs and flows, it’s clear that, at least for now, ‘normal’ is going to mean something very different than what we’re used to,” Dell’Omo’ wrote. “We must take the necessary steps now to assure the stability of our University as we look ahead and prepare for the future. The substantial unexpected financial costs and losses associated with the coronavirus have put extreme pressure on the university’s operations.”

Previously, Rider instituted hiring freezes for non-faculty positions until further notice, reduced summer student employment, cut salaries for senior leadership for a six-month period, reduced contract labor, made operating budget cuts, and suspended some construction projects.

“Despite these actions, the reality of the situation requires us to do more,” Dell’Omo wrote when introducing the new cost-cutting measures.  

“These decisions are not made easily, and we would never ask our Rider community to make these sacrifices if it wasn’t necessary,” he wrote. “The pandemic has required each of us to ask hard things of ourselves. For me personally, a decision like this is among the hardest because of how it directly impacts the well-being and sense of security of our people.”

Dell’Omo wrote that he looks forward to the time when the school is able to return to more normal operations and bring employees back to work on campus. “Until then, we will do everything we can to steward Rider University through this pandemic to ensure a long-term future of financial wellbeing,” he wrote.

One Comment

  1. Dell’Omo, his team and Rider’s Board need to be removed if Rider is to have a future. Keeping WCC in Princeton will save transition costs to a campus that has no facilities for a prestigious music conservatory that they are trying hard to destroy. SAVE WCC – SELL RIDER

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