In an email to Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) staff today, interim executive director Tony De La Rosa announced plans to communicate details of the budget, mission plan and staffing decisions in the weeks leading up to the PMA’s April 26-29 board meeting.

“Out of the deepest respect and appreciation for each of you and the work that you do, the Leadership Cabinet and I have made a commitment to approach budget cuts, resulting layoffs and communication of the process differently than we have in years past,” De La Rosa said.

A “small number” of layoffs is expected at the end of April as budget and programming for the Mission Agency over the next two years is finalized according to the 2017-2018 Mission Work Plan that will be presented to the board for approval. The minimal reduction in staff is, in part, due to the PMA currently having 80 open positions, which includes 26 employees who accepted a recent voluntary separation program. 

“This [circumstance] has allowed us the opportunity to get creative and redefine some of these positions, some of which will be restructured and subsequently filled,” said De La Rosa of the vacant staff positions. “In addition, some difficult choices are being made regarding the elimination of some of our programs.”

De La Rosa acknowledged the difficulties staff encountered as the workforce was reduced while program objectives remained the same, saying, “I am committed to making sure you don’t have to carry still more workload as a result of these changes.”

The letter concluded by saying the PMA would strive to “treat departing staff with compassion and recognition, acknowledging our deep gratitude for their faithful service,” as it did during the recent voluntary separation program, adding, “we will care compassionately for our friends who will have to leave their positions.”

The Presbyterian Mission Agency currently employs approximately 235 staff, not including contract staff, mission co-workers, Hubbard Press employees, or camp and conference center staff.