There was at least one United Way layoff

To the editor:I read with interest the article published in the July 30-Aug. 12 NHBR entitled, “Four N.H. United Ways Complete Merger,” particularly the claim from Granite United Way spokesperson Shannon Sullivan that “staff will remain in place.” This is untrue.For two years, I was employed by Upper Valley United Way, one of the four regional United Ways included in the merger. Effective July 1 last, due to circumstances directly related to this reorganization, my position was eliminated and I was laid off.In the current economy, layoffs have become an all-too-familiar event and one would be hard-pressed to find an employer who didn’t regret it or who didn’t wish it could have been avoided. I have no doubt that this is true of my former workplace.What’s disturbing is the fact that not only was the promise made prior to the merger that “no layoffs will take place” (Valley News, May 8, 2010), but over a month since that promise was broken, the claim is still being made, as if it never happened. Trust me, as anyone laid off will tell you, the effects of losing your income are very real indeed.Local United Way organizations have historically relied upon two principles to guide their work: transparency and accountability. The failure to acknowledge that this merger has already taken its toll on at least one household casts doubt on whether those values will remain paramount.United Way supports a number of worthy local charities, all of which deserve our generosity. Henceforth, I strongly recommend giving to them directly, which can still be done with confidence and trust.Kenneth Story

Categories: Cook on Concord