Difficult decisions made to discontinue some staff positions

Responding to the changing needs of the church, while continuing toward the goal of reducing the expenditures of the General Council Office to reflect the fiscal realities of The United Church of Canada, a number of positions have been eliminated at the General Council Office this week.

Ending staff positions is always done with regret. These colleagues have contributed faithfully, though their valued ministries, to the work of the church.

The changes come in the context of the major restructuring of the denomination that was implemented in 2019. These difficult decisions were made after months of consultation among regional council and General Council senior staff and with the insights of an external review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the General Council Office.

Some areas of work will be discontinued, while other areas will be done differently. Some staff will be reassigned, not to add to their workload but to make shifts in emphasis so the needs that are greatest in this time can be met.

The following positions are concluded at this time:

  • Coordinator Mission and Service Donor Relations
  • Coordinator Mission and Service Engagement
  • Coordinator Marketing
  • Information and Statistics Assistant
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Program Assistant and Communications Support
  • Program Assistant Ministry Partnership Animator
  • Program Assistant Caribbean and Latin America Partnership Program
  • Program Coordinator Faith Formation and Mission
  • Program Coordinator Ministry Recruitment
  • Program Coordinator Ecumenical and Interfaith

There will be further reductions as some contract roles conclude.

It is with gratitude that we thank staff who will no longer be with us for their service and friendship.

Career transition resources are provided to the affected staff, and support resources are provided for staff who are continuing in their roles.

Earlier this year, difficult decisions were made about reductions in grants that will take effect in 2021, and the grant recipients have been notified so they will be aware of this information as they make their budget plans for next year. Grant reductions will total about $2 million and will affect global, ecumenical, and community partners.

These cuts to staff positions and grants are being implemented to carry out directions given by the General Council Executive in March of this year to make reductions in the order of $4 million in the 2021 budget. This direction was given recognizing that in recent years General Council Office expenditures have relied on the availability of reserve funds (savings) and that this is not sustainable. At the time the restructuring of the church was approved in 2015, the 42nd General Council directed that General Council expenditures be reduced to limit further draws on reserve (savings) funds and that the Council live within the resources of the annual assessments and Mission & Service donations. This direction was approved by the broader church through Remit 4 ratified by the 43rd General Council in 2018.

Nora Sanders
General Secretary General Council
July 16, 2020

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