4/11/08

SEIU rues dues hit

Diane Suchomel, the library clerk at Sobrato High School, has been told that her job won't be there next year. At the school since 2003, she was previously the library clerk at Britton Middle School. As Morgan Hill School District trustees look at ways to cut $3 million from the school budget, district employees such as Suchomel are looking to a future that could include layoffs, with 28 teachers notified they may not be in a classroom next year and more than eight classified employees facing unemployment.

Deputy Superintendent Bonnie Tognazzini told Morgan Hill Unified School District Board of Education trustees that $2 million in cuts will come from the district's general fund, and $1 million will be taken out of the categorical, or restricted, budgets.

"This is very difficult, it's devastating to some people," said Pam Torrisi, Service Employees International Union chair. "It's also difficult on the people who are left who have to take up the slack."

Suchomel told trustees during Tuesday night's regular school board meeting that eliminating non-classroom positions also has a devastating impact on students, teachers and the entire school community.

"From the time a student arrives at Sobrato, they have to see me," she said. "I keep track of their textbooks ... They also see me when they read a novel ... We have a very busy library."

Suchomel said the clerk positions at the two high schools are also valuable because of the other services they provide.

"I can repair a book cheaper than we can buy a new one or send it out for repair," she said, noting that textbooks can cost from $65 to more than $100 per book.

(morganhilltimes.com)

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