Jon Iliescu, a 20-year employee of UC Irvine’s Network and Academic Computing Services who was fired from his job on Oct. 19, alleges that he was wrongfully terminated from his position as a program analyst.
Iliescu said that ‘inability to communicate with clients and coworkers’ was cited as the primary reason for his termination.
Brian Buckler, Iliescu’s supervisor for two years and assistant director of network and telecommunications for NACS, declined to comment on the termination, calling the incident ‘an ongoing personnel matter that requires confidentiality.’
Iliescu began working for NACS in October 1984 as a principal electronic technician. After 18 years, he applied for a position as program analyst and received the promotion shortly thereafter in January 2003.
According to his performance evaluations, Iliescu claims that until November 2002 he had always ‘exceed[ed] expectations.’ However, according to Buckler’s evaluation of Iliescu’s performance between November 2002 and September 2003, he ‘need[ed] improvement.’
Iliescu alleged that Buckler presented untrue allegations in an interim performance evaluation from July 2004, to which he didn’t know how to react.
‘[Buckler] outlined unreasonable and unattainable goals,’ Iliescu said.
Buckler’s requests for improvement included more effective interpersonal communication, greater attention to detail and no repetition of previous mistakes.
After his job was terminated, Iliescu contacted University Professional and Technical Employees, a UCI-based employee union which had previously worked to help him retain his job.
Iliescu also sought the help of four of his seven former coworkers, who said that they did not witness any problems with Iliescu’s job performance.
‘When you have the ability to work as a team player, you have to be conscientious and try to communicate with others,’ said Doug Lawrence, a NACS electronics technician and Iliescu’s coworker for four years. ‘[Iliescu], in my opinion, does not have a deficiency in any of those areas.’
Iliescu also gathered letters from people with whom he had worked during the last two years testifying that he was effective in communicating with others.
Iliescu, along with a UPTE representative, met with NACS Director Dana Roode and UCI Human Resources Consultant David Coffey on Nov. 3 to discuss Iliescu’s situation. However, Iliescu doesn’t foresee a decision being made soon.
Officials from UCI’s Department of Human Resources declined to discuss specific details of Iliescu’s case. However, they did say that generally, employees’ supervisors are given discretion over firing decisions.
Iliescu said that he is unsure if he will receive pension from NACS if his position is not restored.