Missouri Highway Department Cuts Ties to 10 CUs
In a move apparently traced to the state's budget shortfall, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission voted this week to sever ties and fire employees at 10 small credit unions located in district offices across the state.
The Missouri Credit Union Association, which has been fencing with state agencies and the governor's office to block the action since January, called the MODOT decision on Wednesday unfair and puzzling considering salaries and expenses of the 27 impacted employees are paid by the CUs and reimbursed to the state.
The Missouri Division of Credit Unions has also tried to intervene in the MODOT action by arguing that CU employees remain on the MODOTpayroll until the facilities are relocated.
"This is all very political and we've never been sure where it came from at the start," said Rosie Holub, president/CEO of the MCUA.
Under the original order the CUs were ordered to vacate their offices, many in closet like spaces, by Sept. 30, a date since postponed to Dec. 31, 2012. However, the employees were told they would be terminated by Sept. 30.
"I've been an MODOT employee 57 years and ready to retire and now they've pulled the rug right out from me," lamented Linda Klaproth, manager of the $11 million Division 10 Highway Employees CU of Sikeston. "It's simply a nightmare and when you think there are just two of us here and trying to serve the members, it's really sad."
Holub said MCUA is still trying to work with the governor and state agencies to determine if the order can be overturned based on the small budget amount the state is saving in occupied space.