3/4/08

SEIU seniority list posted for layoffs

Some members of the three school district employee groups may be laid off as a result of the governor's proposed cuts to education funding, $4.8 billion, and those groups are urging parents to let legislators know their students will suffer if the cuts are made. During their regular meeting Tuesday, Morgan Hill (CA) Unified School District trustees heard the staff's plan to prepare for the possibility of layoffs.

For classified workers, 337 of whom are represented by the Service Employees International Union, a seniority list has been created and posted. If a reduction in force is necessary, the resolution by the board would be passed on April 8 with the 45-day notices issued between April 21 and May 16.

Teachers, 452 of them represented by the Morgan Hill Federation of Teachers, must be noticed by March 15 if they are to be laid off. During the Tuesday meeting, trustees adopted the seniority list and tie breaker criteria. On March 14, the final seniority list will be posted, and the notices will be issued, with final layoff notices May 14 and release of temporary teachers on May 15.

Administrators, managers, directors and others represented by Morgan Hill Educational Leaders Association, 55 members, could be reassigned rather than laid off. A final seniority list has been posted, and a possible reassignment letter will go out March 14, The final reassignment letter will go out June 30.

The trustees expressed their displeasure at having to consider laying off employees but also at the fact that while state law requires the district to pass its budget by June 30, the state often does not pass its budget until September. This year, Deputy Superintendent Bonnie Tognazzini told trustees, it could be as late as October or November.

"So we are making decisions based on predictions but not on an actual budget, which will be passed when the government gets around to it," Trustee Bart Fisher complained. "That's the complete and utter unfairness of it."

Trustee Shelle Thomas said she hopes the board will continue to have budget conversations and a process developed for deciding what to cut.

(morganhilltimes.com)

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