The Detroit Free Press reports that Teleperformance USA is laying of 430 workers at its Ann Arbor call center and closing its operation at 2300 Traverwood Drive on Jan. 19. A company executive told the Free Press that Teleperformance was not able to renew its contract with a client that the call center served. [Source]
When we first heard about the layoffs at AnnArbor.com last Thursday – starting with cryptic comments on Facebook, quickly spreading through the Ann Arbor News diaspora and then the broader community – I had a sickening sense of déjà vu. It was two years ago this month that the out-of-state owners of our town’s daily newspaper announced their plans to close the business, tearing apart the lives of its workers, fraying some of the Ann Arbor community’s fabric, and drawing national attention for the decision’s fearlessness or folly, depending on your view.
I wrote about their decision at the time from a personal perspective. Even though I had left the News the previous year to co-found The Chronicle, it was still a place that employed many friends and colleagues I respected. Watching that organization get dismantled was emotional, for many reasons.
Although we began to hear about the layoffs on Thursday last week, we decided not to write immediately about that news. In part, we reasoned that it should be AnnArbor.com’s story to tell first, and I held out hope that executives at AnnArbor.com would be straightforward in letting the community know about their decision, and the rationale behind it.
I also hoped they would wrap into their coverage the news that three other key staff members – news director Amalie Nash, higher education reporter David Jesse and point person for reader interaction Stefanie Murray – had all been hired by the Detroit Free Press. All three left at the end of February. All had previously worked for many years at The Ann Arbor News, and had been initial hires at AnnArbor.com.
Considered separately, either the set of layoffs or the three departures would have had a significant impact on the organization. But with both events taking place within two weeks, it counts as the most dramatic personnel change since AnnArbor.com’s launch.
Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education meeting (April 21, 2010): In one swift action item on an otherwise skeletal agenda, the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) board of education voted unanimously to lay off all 191 of its probationary teachers, starting in June. Probationary teachers are commonly called “un-tenured.”
While introducing the item, AAPS superintendent Todd Roberts noted, “This is certainly a very difficult thing for myself and for this board to be recommending tonight,” but said he was hopeful that AAPS will continue to work collaboratively with its employee groups to end up with “as few job reductions as we possibly can.” District officials hope that many of the layoffs will be rescinded before the start of school in the fall.
Last night’s meeting also contained the first of two public hearings on recommendations from the district’s sexual health education advisory committee regarding materials to be used in elementary-level sex education.