Saturday, August 01, 2015
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AVC employees delivered more bad news

Fifty-seven Antelope Valley College employees were told Tuesday afternoon that they could either lose their jobs or be laid off for one to two months this summer as the result of the state’s budget crisis.

The announcement precedes Monday’s board meeting where college trustees will be asked to consider action involving the 57 employees as the district grapples with an anticipated loss of $8 million to $10 million in state funding in the 2011-12 budget year that begins July 1.

“We were trying to give as much notice as possible. We care about these people. It’s not something we want to do, but it’s the circumstances that have been provided to us by the state,” said Shane Turner, vice president of human resources.

Employees slated for reductions from 12 months to 11 or 10 months were called to one session. Employees in categorical programs that could lose their funding were called to a second session to be told they could be issued layoff notices.

The affected categorical programs include Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), and Matriculation.

Turner said state law requires that employees in categorical programs be given 60-day notice. Other support staff (non-teaching) require 45 days notice.

The college district’s five-member board will be asked Monday to approve the layoffs and workload reductions. If approved, the reductions would save an estimated $1.57 million.

It would be the second round of cost-cutting actions this year by the college. Last month, 20 administrators were sent notices informing them that their pay could be reduced as much as 35 percent in the coming year.

“When you have 85 percent of your budget tied up in personnel, there are not many options left when faced with millions of dollars in cuts. Everyone will feel the pain of these cuts: students, employees and a community that will have fewer trained people for the workforce,” said President/Superintendent Dr. Jackie L. Fisher Sr.

College officials note that the failure of state leaders to develop a budget that will resolve a projected $26 billion deficit is driving them to plan for a worst-case scenario. Cuts to the state’s 112 community colleges could exceed $1 billion, according to projections.

A hiring freeze is in place and summer school classes have been drastically reduced from 276 classes last year to 94 this year. More class reductions could be in store for fall, officials said.