Connect Transit Sends Layoff Notices To All Employees | WGLT

Connect Transit Sends Layoff Notices To All Employees

Oct 31, 2016

Credit Staff / WGLT

All 150 employees at Connect Transit received layoff notices Monday in accordance with a federal law requiring public agencies to alert staff of a possible looming work stoppage.

General Manager Andrew Johnson said he remains hopeful state funds will be transferred to the agency in December, averting the need to keep the buses garaged. He said, in a worse case scenario, a handful of employees will keep working.

"Depending on where we stand, if we were forced to do a temporary suspension of service, we probably would keep a skeleton crew of people to continue things moving along in anticipation of a quick startup again," Johnson said.

The Federal WARN Act mandates employers tell workers about any potential pending layoff, Johnson added.

"While we have stated repeatedly that is a worst-case scenario, and we're sincerely hoping it doesn't happen, we feel it's necessary to provide that notification so people can prepare if the worse does happen," Johnson added.

Three weeks ago, Johnson announced a possible shutdown in January because the state has failed to transfer $5 million into the system's operating budget. The money has been appropriated, but the state is late in paying many bills.

Johnson said Jacksonville's bus system has already shut down and Kankakee's could face a similar fate next month. 65 percent of Connect Transit's operating budget is funded through state dollars.