(MCT) – The Tennessee Valley Authority outlined plans Wednesday to cuts its staff this year as the federal utility continues to trim expenses in response to lower electricity sales and plans to close more TVA coal plants.
In a letter to most of TVA's 12,600 employees, the agency said it will offer severance incentives to employees who retire early or quit the agency before October. TVA has set a goal of cutting $500 million from its operating budget by fiscal 2015 and TVA spokesman Duncan Mansfield said additional staff reductions are needed to meet that goal.
TVA cut 700 staff and contractor jobs last year after deferring work on its Bellefonte Nuclear Plant and closing its John Sevier Fossil Plant.
"In order to perform our mission, we must curtail our spending and focus on internal cost management while continuing to fulfill our broader mission of environmental stewardship and economic development," TVA said in a letter to employees.
TVA will offer employees up to 30 weeks pay if they retire or quit this year. Under the voluntary reduction-in-force program outlined to TVA workers, eligiible employees with at least one year's experience will be given one week's pay for each year of employment with TVA, up to a maximum of 30 weeks.
The offer is being made available to all TVA employees today through Feb. 18, other than the 3,800 employees who work in TVA's nuclear power program. TVA nuclear is being reorganized under Joe Grimes, who joined the agency in September. Nuclear staffing plans will be announced later, Mansfield said.
TVA plans to roll out plans for a corporate reorganization this year and the letter to employees indicated that the agency may stop performing some tasks to focus on its core mission.