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Burbank school district employees walk the line

Molly Shore

About three dozen Burbank Unified School District employees

represented by the California School Employee Assn. picketed in front

of City Hall before the start of Thursday’s school board meeting,

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protesting several proposed layoffs.

The board later voted unanimously to approve a resolution

eliminating the equivalent of 19 full-time classified positions and

reducing the hours of nine other positions. The cuts were part of

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nearly $3 million in reductions made to help balance the district’s

2003-04 operating budget.

Cheryl McDonald, a campus supervisor at Burbank High School who

has worked in the district for 10 years, said that if she loses her

job, she has enough tenure to bump another employee with less tenure.

McDonald said she would take a 30% salary cut without benefits.

Valdemar Camacho, who also walked the picket line, has four years

in the district as a maintenance electrician. If the electrical lead

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person position is cut, Camacho said the employee doing that job will

use his bumping rights to take Camacho’s job, and he will be out of

work.

“I accept bumping rights, but I believe the district needs highly

qualified electricians,” Camacho said. “I can’t keep up with work

orders to keep the schools in the condition that the residents of

Burbank like to see.”

Dvora Mayer, labor relations representative for the union, said

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nine positions were added to the resolution after negotiations

between the association and the district, in violation of the

district’s contract with CSEA.

She added that the resolution does not state when layoffs will

happen.

"[Personnel Services Director] Nancy Gascich, at the negotiations

table said, ‘We’ll let you know,’ ” Mayer said.

When the agenda item was discussed during Thursday’s meeting,

Gascich told board members that district counsel advised her that the

district is within its legal right to add names to the resolution.

Layoff dates on the resolution are not necessary, she said.

“The law clearly states that we cannot give less than 30 days from

the date of the letter they receive,” Gascich said.


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