Rockville Centre diocese offering buyouts

(AP) - One of Long Island's largestemployers, the Diocese of Rockville Centre, plans to offervoluntary buyouts to 25 percent of its 6,000 employees.

Beginning next month, the offer will be made to about 1,500full-time and part-time workers.

They include administrators, education directors, outreachworkers, maintenance workers and non-unionized elementary schoolteachers. They will have 45 days to decide whether to accept.

Bishop William Murphy said in a letter last week that nearlyhalf of the 133 Roman Catholic parishes operate at a deficitdespite steady donations. He said that's partly because requestsfor the diocese's services have increased.

The diocese has no plans to close or consolidate schools orparishes.

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