6,000 MNSCU employees set for layoffs - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

6,000 MNSCU employees set for layoffs

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Governor Mark Dayton and GOP lawmakers met for another unproductive budget negotiation. 

After 90 minutes in a meeting Wednesday both sides say they made no progress. They have until June 30th to reach an agreement before a government shutdown would take place. All across the state people are preparing for the worst possible scenario.

The latest group of workers to be affected, is with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. Layoff notices are going out this Friday to 6,000 employees.

MNSCU officials said they have enough money in reserves to continue operating, even if there isn't a budget deal in St. Paul, but the problem is that money sits in state accounts, which they couldn't access if the government shuts down.

"The really important part for us is that we don't interrupt the education process," said Terry Leas, with Riverland College.

Across Minnesota, 32 colleges and universities will feel the effects, as will 277,000 students. One of them is Matt Compton, a senior at St. Cloud State University.

"It is frustrating, cause we all have to work harder to pay more money for less services, and none of us are looking to do that," said Compton.

Across the state more than 6,000 employees are set to receive lay-off notices in the mail this Friday. Kurt Lohide, with Winona State University, said the implications will be widespread.

"A lot of our custodial workers and some administrative workers," stated Lohide.

MNSCU may be able to avoid letting workers go if they are given the ok to access emergency cash reserves before the shut down, to pay employees. Administration is worried students will venture elsewhere for their education.

"As a student you really want to see if you can get more bang for your buck. If you can get more money or services for the same money in WIsconsin or something like that, need to go out of state to get a better education, that might be the best opportunity for you," explained Compton.

While Riverland College Spokesperson, Terry Leas, is optimistic the budget will be resolved, worries still cross his mind.

"Implications for employers and the economy if out students aren't allowed to go to classes and get those skills employers need and the skilled workforce they need as we emerge from this recession," said Leas.

Between the 3 Riverland Campuses, at Owatonna, Albert Lea and Austin more than 90 employees are expected to laid-off.

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