County to begin COVID-19 layoffs

GENESEE COUNTY — Genesee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Martin Cousineau and Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Courts met last week with the county’s union partners to discuss how the county will move forward with COVID-19 related layoffs.

The discussion involved various issues of concerns for employees as county officials attempt to move forward with the laying off of some county non-essential personnel.

“Genesee County clearly understands that these types of discussions are very difficult to have. Our staff has been outstanding during this crisis” said Cousineau. “It is gut wrenching to have to make these decisions, but the uncertainty of our economy demands it. Our already shaky financial footing is being put at further risk. We have no choice but to act.”

Thousands of people in the community have lost their jobs due to this crisis and that directly affects Genesee County’s ability to realize revenue that is needed to continue operations for our residents, he said.

With the extension of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, commissioners have communicated that employees should expect to be off until at least the end of April before the situation will be reevaluated.

The county’s union partners have committed to disseminate these discussions to county employees as quickly as possible with an expected vote sometime this week. Until that happens, the board has refused further comment in order to let the collective bargaining process play out. — G.G.