County commission approves severance packages

St. Joseph County’s board of commissioners on Tuesday approved a letter of understanding that will allow it to offer severance packages to employees expected to be laid off.

County administrator Teresa Doehring said the county’s financial situation warrants a look at every possible option it can exercise to save money. She said the 2018 budget was approved with a $1.6 million gap.

The layoffs will impact fewer than five employees and occur in the union’s general division, which has about 25 employees in a variety of offices, including clerk, treasurer, register of deeds, MSU Extension, equalization and GIS.

The severance amounts to one week of regular pay for every full year of employment with the county, Doehring said.

She noted that the union is expected to review the letter of understanding Thursday. Contingent on its approval, the layoffs could be made as soon as next week, Doehring said.

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