Glendale Community College cuts work for 98 employees

As part of a controversial cost-cutting move, the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees approved one-month work reductions for 98 employees this week to save about $500,000.

With fewer summer classes and no winter session, the classified employees — which include administrative assistants, lab technicians, food-service workers and library technicians — will no longer work in either January or August beginning July 1, 2013.

The 11-month work schedule will mean an 8.33% average salary reduction for those affected, according to the college's executive vice president, Ron Nakasone.

Most roles were reduced from 12 to 11 months, with several slashed from 11 months to 10.

“The need for employees is greatly reduced as the college has cut a large number of sections over the last few years,” said Interim Supt./President Jim Riggs.

Of the affected positions, 20 include various assistant, specialist and technician roles at the Garfield campus.

Employees targeted for the cuts publicly protested the move at an emotional town hall forum and at subsequent board of trustees meetings.

In several cases, employees said the result would be a blow to the college's students, who are already grappling with this year's budget issues — 5,000 students were on waitlists for classes at the start of the school year.

Employees pleaded with officials to reconsider. Debbie Klein — a nurse overseeing the nursing resource lab — was one of them.

In mid-September, Klein said a one-month cut “would create a void that paralyzes our program.”

Barbara Artukovich, an administrative assistant in the nursing program, also spoke in defense of her own position, asking trustees who would process 300 to 400 nursing applications twice a year with deadlines of March 1 and Sept. 1.

Both positions were reduced to 11 months.

In addition to the 98 affected positions, an additional 22 classified and currently vacant roles were reduced from 12 to 11 months.

Riggs said those positions that are deemed critical would be filled.

Follow Kelly on Twitter @kellymcorrigan.

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