SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education voted 3-1 tonight to issue layoff notices to about 975 full- and part-time classified employees for the next fiscal year to help balance a budget deficit that could reach $122 million.
Notices would be issued to affected employees, which include library assistants, custodians and assistants at child development centers, by Sunday and would take effect when the new fiscal year begins.
"We acknowledge the negative impact of the loss of those positions, but we believe this must be done," said Deputy Superintendent Phil Stover.
District staff estimated the reductions could save about $38.7 million in salary and benefits, but actual savings would be determined when employees were laid off or bumped into lower level positions.
"There isn't $124 million hiding in the rafters," said board member Kevin Beiser. "We have to make some incredibly terrible choices."
Several district employees spoke out against the layoffs including Sylvia Alvarez, chapter president of the office-technical and business services bargaining unit, who called the layoffs ridiculous.
"We're bare bones now," Alvarez said. "Our people are overloaded, they're stressed and the students are not being served."
Dan Ortiz, labor relations representative for the California School Employees Association, the statewide union representing the employees, said the cuts in maintenance and custodial would would have unintended consequences.
"The staff is doing the best they can, but they are not getting the resources to really maintain the schools," Ortiz said.
Beiser said the cuts were not final and district could work together with unions to balance the budget "in a humane way" that would not result in the need for massive layoffs.
Board member Richard Barrera acknowledged classified employees had made past sacrifices, but asked them to sacrifice again to avoid deep cuts.
"The honest truth is we do have to make these cuts tonight," Barrera said. "The honest truth is that we have to sit down with you at the bargaining table again and ask you for more sacrifice on top of the sacrifice that you've made."
Frances Fierro, a former office-technical and business services bargaining unit leader, asked who would do the work if classified services were cut, because classified employees were essential.
"We are facing tremendous cuts, we've faced them every year," Fierro said. "We don't get recalled and rescinded as quickly as the teachers do."
The district issued more than 1,600 layoff notices last month to certificated employees like teachers, counselors and nurses to help erase a budget deficit that could reach $122 million, depending on how much funding would be provided from the state.
A transient accused of fatally stabbing a man after they got into an argument near a 7-Eleven store in Poway pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.
Coastal rail closures could complicate the commute for the thousands of people expected at Women's Marches set for downtown San Diego and San Marcos Saturday, though additional transit options are being made available.
A man arrested in the doctor's lounge at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa after claiming to be an anesthesiologist pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of treating the sick without a certificate.
People who bought new homes in Otay Ranch's Village of Escaya can start moving in Friday - later than planned but after the developer took steps to address methane found at the site.
Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that’s likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.
Two of the region's largest federal enterprises, military bases and border patrol, are unlikely to face major disruptions in the event of a looming government shutdown that experts say likely is to occur at midnight.
Unicorn Fest is sure to be a blast. There will be lots of vendors selling unicorn themed food, drinks, treats, clothing, accessories, and performers that are sure to entertain.
He's known for several of his hilarious roles in films like 'Dumb and Dumber', 'Something About Mary', and 'Half Baked'. Harland Williams is in town this weekend at American Comedy in the Gaslamp.
An active duty member of the Military who started a mobile app that is like craig's list for the military!