WBP Cuts 17 staff Positions to Meet Budget Plan

Dec 31, 2002 02:20 PM EST

The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod's Worker Benefit Plans (WBP) cut 17 of its 105 staff positions. Of the positions eliminated, nine were full-time, five were part-time and three were on a contract basis.

"We regret the need to make such a decision at this time of the year," Leeman, Plans President and CEO of WBP, said. "However, our customers -- the employers and the members of the Worker Benefit Plans -- are in difficult financial situations due to the national economy, and we felt it necessary to carefully reevaluate budgeting and spending to keep our costs as low as possible."

The 11-member Board of Managers for the Worker Benefit Plans, at its Dec. 9-11 meeting in Irvine, Calif., asked the staff to reevaluate the proposed 2003 Plans budget, particularly administrative expenses.

According to Leeman, the staff cuts are part of a budget reevaluation process. "All line items in the budget are being evaluated to determine whether further reductions in expenses might be made, such as reducing travel and renegotiating contracts with vendors," he said. It is estimated that elimination of the 17 staff positions will amount to salary and benefit cost savings of about $1 million, out of an $11 million budget in 2002.

"We will continue to strive to provide the best possible benefits and service at the lowest cost by wringing every cent out of every dollar entrusted to the Plans," Leeman said.

By Tony C.