BOSTON – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America removed temporarily at least ten employees and put them on furlough without pay as of August 1, 2020 due to financial difficulties, but it will continue to cover their medical insurance. Also, two long time employees Alice Keurian, Director of the Archbishopric Office, and Nitsa Sinanis, Administrative Assistant of the same Office, will retire.
The Archdiocese was forced to make these decisions because of financial constraints due to the fact that the parishes didn’t fulfill their economic contributions to the Archdiocese as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, which closed churches during Lent and Holy Week, and the postponement of the Greek Festivals, which are a very essential source of income for the parishes.
The announcement about the furlough employees was done by Ellaine Allen, treasurer of the Archdiocese, and Chancellor Andreas Vithoulkas.
The National Herald has learned that among those who were furloughed were Nikie Calles, Director of Archive, Nicholas Anton, in the Interfaith Office, Cassandra Garibaldi in Youth and Young Adult Ministries, and others. It is hoped that they will be returning when the finances of the Archdiocese improve.
Also, Deacon Dionysios Papiris left the Metropolis of Boston and has been transferred to the Direct Archdiocesan District.
The Archdiocese issued the following announcement:
“As with many organizations, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and its parishes. The financial consequences to certain of our parishes have been particularly significant, causing a decline in revenues from the Total Commitment program which, in turn, reduces the operating funds of the Archdiocese. Unfortunately, the uncertainty associated with the Total Commitment revenues as the pandemic enters its sixth month has forced the Archdiocese to make the difficult decision to reduce its employment costs through a furlough program.
Affected employees will enter the furlough program as of August 1, 2020. The furloughs will affect a limited number of staff and are expected to be temporary. While the furloughs will be unpaid, the Archdiocese will continue to provide health insurance for these employees. It is the desire of the Archdiocese to welcome its furloughed employees back at the earliest possible opportunity, but this will depend on many variables, including the stabilization of the Total Commitment program.
The Archdiocese has taken numerous actions to avoid disrupting its workforce in this manner. Most significantly, the Archdiocese availed itself of stimulus funds through the Paycheck Protection Program and exercised sound financial stewardship through cost containment measures. As the pandemic has continued though, further measures are needed.
Each Archdiocesan employee views their service to the Archdiocese not as a job, but a calling to the Church and Christ. The Archdiocese owes its gratitude to each of its staff members for their ongoing, and often unnoticed, hard work and dedication.”