Charlotte YMCA announces widespread staffing changes due to Covid-19

YMCA officials announce pay cuts, furloughs and lay offs as the organization deals with "decisions that seemed unthinkable a month ago."

YMCA of Greater Charlotte announced further staffing impacts as the nonprofit grapples with effects of the Covid-19 crisis. On Monday, YMCA officials announced extended staff furloughs, pay cuts for nearly 200 full-time employees, and elimination of 55 positions, including several leadership roles.

The move follows last month’s furloughs of 3,400 part-time and 240 full-time employees, in addition to the March 17 closure of all 19 of its branches and two overnight camps due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

“It is impossible to overstate the deep impact that membership and program cancellations have had on YMCAs across the country, including ours,” CEO Todd Tibbits said in a statement.

Program and membership fees account for nearly 90% of the Y’s revenue, and with extended closures, leaders looked for a variety of ways to reduce expenses and preserve cash flow. The organization encouraged members to convert monthly membership fees to donations; renegotiated credit lines, lease agreements and debt payments; pursued subsidies, tax credits and tax deferrals; and cut salaries for senior leadership.

“Nevertheless, the fact remains that extended closures have significantly impacted our financial forecast and forced us to make decisions that seemed unthinkable a month ago,” Tibbits said.

Eliminated staff are eligible for separation pay based on years of service and can apply to a staff relief fund. Through community partnerships, officials said furloughed employees will be connected to part-time job opportunities at local Harris Teeter and Lowe’s Home Improvement stores with the goal of staff returning to the YMCA once facilities reopen.

Since facility shutdowns, the YMCA has focused its efforts to serve frontline healthcare workers by offering free childcare for essential Atrium Health and Novant Health employees at nine branches.

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