Natural History Museum Slashing Staff With Layoffs and Furloughs

Natural History Museum Slashing Staff With Layoffs and Furloughs

Natural History Museum Slashing Staff With Layoffs and Furloughs

Natural History Museum Slashing Staff With Layoffs and Furloughs

Facing severe financial losses as a result of the pandemic, the American Museum of Natural History announced on Wednesday that it would cut its full-time staff by about 200 people, amounting to dozens of layoffs. And officials said they would put about 250 other full-time employees on indefinite furlough.

The staff of roughly 1,100 employees will be reduced by about 20 percent, according to a statement from the museum. That figure includes 68 layoffs, 70 early retirements and others whose term appointments are ending. The museum projects a budget deficit of between $80 million and $120 million for the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends on June 30, and the next fiscal year. The furloughed employees will retain their health insurance, said Anne Canty, a spokeswoman for the museum.

The coronavirus has been devastating to cultural institutions in the city that have been forced to shut their doors with no certainty of when they might reopen, and cancel major fund-raising events that help to sustain them. The history museum’s job cuts are comparable with those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which announced layoffs of more than 80 people last month.

The history museum’s actions take into account what museum operations are expected to look like when New York City starts to reopen. That is likely to mean reduced business hours as well as cancellations of all school visits and public programming.

“These actions are gut-wrenching,” Ellen V. Futter, the museum’s president, said in a statement, “but we are compelled to make them to protect the Museum and its mission of research, science education, caring for our collections, and providing access for visitors.”


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