SBUSD classified employees will vote on plan June 8
Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/28/2011 09:33:00 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – The union representing classified employees in the San Bernardino City Unified School District and the district have reached an agreement regarding a 5 percent pay cut.

The pay cut will equal nine unpaid furlough days, according to Ken Holt, chapter president of California School Employees Association, CSEA, 183.

Classified workers are expected to vote on the temporary pay cut for one year on June 8 after the agreement was reached May 8.

“We know the financial state the district is in and classified employees have always been the first to step up and help out,” said Holt.

The decision will impact 2,200 classified employees in the district including custodians, clerks, secretaries and cafeteria workers. The days begin July 1 and will continue through the 2011-12 school year.

The district school board approved a pay cut across the board earlier this year in anticipation of having to make $25 million in cuts going into the next school year.

Recently, all of the teachers in the San Bernardino Teachers Association voted to take five unpaid days off in the 2011-12 school year rather than a 5 percent pay cut.

While an agreement has been reached between the district and union regarding the pay cut, the CSEA is at an impasse with the district regarding the reduction in months the district wants classified employees to work.

The reduction would impact all 12-month employees, including custodians, secretaries and clerks, in the district.

“It is cause for concern, because it essentially puts a halt on the deep cleaning that goes on at schools during the summer months,” Holt said.

School board president Danny Tillman said the situation is a result of the district moving schools from a year-round schedule to a traditional one, because students are known to perform better on such a schedule.

“We are saying that if the kids are only there for nine months that the classified staff only needs to be there nine months,” he said. “Basically we have to make cuts somewhere. We can’t afford to have people there when students aren’t there.”

But Holt believes the situation stems from a direct threat from Mel Albiso, the district’s assistant superintendent/chief executive officer, that if the union doesn’t get rid of the Personnel Commission the district would reduce the work year to 10 months for custodians.

The commission, a body created in 1966 to ensure fair and equitable hiring practices, has been locked in a contentious relationship with the district for several years now.

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