Local News

Tuesday, Apr 06 2010 05:44 PM

College district may cut 14 jobs

BY CHRISTINE BEDELL, Californian government editor cbedell@bakersfield.com

The Kern Community College District board will consider Thursday laying off about 14 people who work in the district office plus Bakersfield and Porterville colleges.

Slated to be cut are the equivalent of 12 full-time "classified" positions plus two management jobs, according to Bakersfield College President Greg Chamberlain. If the board approves the planned reductions, district officials and the California School Employees Association will negotiate the effects of the layoffs.

That includes a "bumping" process in which someone with more seniority may displace someone with less. So the person in the job to be cut may not necessarily be the one let go.

The layoffs would help the college district address an anticipated budget shortfall of up to 10 percent next school year, Chamberlain said.

Most of the positions in danger are filled and are full-time jobs, meaning about 14 people would be affected, Chamberlain said. He said people could also end up staying with the district if they're able to fill vacancies caused by retirements, resignations or other things.

The management positions up for elimination are a maintenance and operations supervisor at Bakersfield College and an administrative secretary in the district chancellor's office, Chamberlain said.

The classified positions that could be cut are:

* District office: accounting technician II (two FTEs); cashier/billing technician (one FTE)

* Bakersfield College: laboratory technician II (one FTE); executive secretary (one FTE); department assistant III (5.8 FTEs)

* Porterville College: department assistant I (.475 FTE); department assistant II (one FTE)

Chamberlain said the Bakersfield College proposed layoffs would save about $520,000. He didn't have savings information for the rest of the potential cutbacks.

The layoffs would take effect around July 1, Chamberlain said.

The classified employees whose positions may be cut are aware of that and understandably there is anxiety among staff, said Jennifer Marden, president of Bakersfield College's CSEA chapter.

She'd sent an e-mail to classified employees offering to talk to anyone who is worried.

"I know from personal experience that getting this news can be upsetting and confusing," her e-mail said.

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