Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Latest Financial News

First, the good: The congregation will not be cutting any staff this year. I can keep my job.

There are a range of staff cuts being considered, however, ranging from 3% of income to 15%. The different levels have different implications. Some involve cuts in hours, others we are expected to simply "suck up" because hey, these are hard economic times and we've been saved from lay-offs.

Nothing is in stone yet. The finance committee still needs to make a recommendation to the board, the board needs to vote, and then the whole congregation needs to vote. But, I suspect I am personally looking at a 3-5% cut, hopefully around the 3% range.

The only thing that is saving me from despair (since as the board president here said to me, I am "already cutting awfully close to the bone" in my personal finances anyway), is that they will allow me to take my cut in professional expenses (my training and development budget). Luckily, this budget line is able to absorb a 3-5% cut, though it will mean my professional activities will be on hold for the year. However, it won't take additional cuts, so let's hope the economy turns around and fast!

The (hopefully minor) bad news is that one of my proposals for a potential budget cut, I think, varied significantly from how the senior minister here views our work as a congregation...and I am just hoping she is gracious about it. I am still learning here when I can push for innovation, and when that is problematic for my working relationships in a congregation where folks have served for almost entire careers.

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