Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/21/2011 04:59:42 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – Temporary workers will be used to fill some of the more than 400 empty positions in the San Bernardino City Unified School District, angering union members who say the jobs should go to their members.

Vacancies in departments including Maintenance & Operations and Transportation Services – blocked because of a longstanding dispute with the district’s Personnel Commission – have left important and sometimes legally required work undone, district officials said.

But representatives of the California School Employees Association, said the decision would lead to inferior work and might violate SB1419, which limits districts’ rights to outsource.

“Classified workers have the ability to provide continuity as well as a higher level of service,” said Steven Holt, first vice president of the local chapter of CSEA. “Basically, we’re tied to the district. You get someone from a temp service, there’s no loyalty. … I’m here to let you know that CSEA might litigate this.”

Contract negotiations continue between the district and CSEA, which represents more than 2,000 classified employees. The union voted no to a 5-percent wage cut in June, saying it didn’t trust the district, but board members said pay cuts for classified workers and the need to fill other positions were unrelated.

The school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to amend an existing contract with San Bernardino-based Manpower Inc., in place since October 2010.

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