Overture Center job cuts - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Overture Center job cuts

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Madison (WKOW) -- It was a tough day for many employees at the Overture Center in Madison.

  Early Thursday morning, officials there announced they would be cutting 15 positions at the facility in order to balance the budget.

  That's about 25 percent of its authorized workforce.

  They also cut and scaled back major programs like Kids in the Rotunda.

  Brian Rodriguez spoke with the Overture's president about the layoffs.

  Four of those positions were already vacant but eleven jobs at the Overture will be terminated.

  Still, that doesn't mean all eleven of those people will be out of a job.

  The Overture Center in Madison has become yet another victim of the down turning economy.

  After approving a five point six million dollar budget for the first six months of 2009.

  Overture officials announced it would be cutting 15 jobs.

  Tom Carto, Overture Center President, said, "it wasn't about the people, we had wonderful people. It was the positions we picked the positions that we felt could be covered by other positions to fill the work."

  The overture needed to cut around one-point-three million dollars to balance the budget.

  Overture president Tom Carto says board members went through every department, every efficiency, making cuts.

  "Every program looked for every efficiency we could find, we cut programming, outreach, looked at our fixed costs, our supplies, our utilities and when we couldn't sharpen the pencil anymore we had to look at staff," said Carto.

  Eliminating the positions saves around 467-thousand dollars in wages and benefits.

  "I've been at my city job for 14 years and I have never seen this many people laid off since I started my city job," Carto added.

  Madison Alder Mike Verveer was at the budget meeting Thursday morning.

  He says although eleven jobs are being cut, it doesn't mean all eleven people in those positions will be without jobs.

  Verveer said, "many of those employees are union and because of those union contracts particularly those with high seniority, will be able to bump into other city positions."

  Officials would not tell us how many of the eleven affected employees are part of the union.

  Alder Verveer says the bad news may not end with the Overture.

  He says if one of the eleven Overture employeees "bump" into another city position, that could mean someone else with less seniority losing their job.

  The children's arts festival, which would have had its ninth annual event in April next year has been completely cancelled.

  That saves the overture around 25 thousand dollars.

  Other scale backs include duck soup cinema.

  And the Overture Presents Series, Which instead of 55 shows, will only hold 38.

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