Administrators’ pay may be cut

Jarrod M. Graham

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Administrators at Bakersfield College and throughout the Kern Community College District may face pay cuts to help ease the impact of a projected $6 million budget shortfall in the 2003-04 school year, BC President Dr. Sandra Serrano said in an interview on Tuesday.
A resolution directing district Chancellor Dr. Walter Packard to authorize salary reductions for administrators, as well as layoffs, was expected to be discussed and voted upon during a meeting of the KCCD Board of Trustees on Thursday, Serrano said.
Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles Community College District approved a plan to furlough as many as 120 administrators for three weeks without pay to save an estimated $310,000.
Serrano said that while BC and the district have considered such a plan, they settled on cutting salaries.
“A furlough means that your salary ends up being reduced ultimately because you work fewer days,” she said. “In this instance for the Kern Community College District, while it’s not a furlough being proposed, it is a reduction in salary. So the net effect will be the same.”
Packard could not be reached for comment.
The resolution was one of three regarding the fate of employees throughout the district that was expected to be proposed at the Thursday board meeting. The other two resolutions discussed authorizing layoff notices for faculty and classified staffers. The outcome of the proposals was not known at press time.
According to Serrano, faculty will be limited to the basic 175-day contract and some classified positions may be reduced or eliminated, while cuts in programs such as EOP&S, DSP&S, matriculation and CalWORKs may result in the institution of “bumping rights” throughout the district to determine who gets laid off.
Bumping rights refer to an employee with more seniority pushing out one with less experience.
For example, because of cuts in EOP&S, a counselor hired for that program at Cerro Coso College in 1990 would be given the opportunity to displace a general counselor who was hired at BC in 1991.
If the EOP&S counselor accepts, the general counselor would be laid off. But then, any counseling position that opens within 39 months must be offered to the displaced counselor, Serrano explained.
The district doesn’t yet know how many people will be affected by layoffs, said nursing professor Chris Romanowich, faculty co-chairwoman of BC’s Institutional Effectiveness Committee.
“It could be kind of a bumping or trickle-down effect, so there’s really no number they can give,” she said. “Everyone keeps being reassured that it’s going to be as limited as possible.”
Though a series of self-evaluations conducted by each program at the college yielded a number of good recommendations for cutting costs, a lot of work still needs to be done to reach the target reduction of $6 million, Romanowich said.
“Many of the areas didn’t put in actual dollar amounts beside them,” she said. “They said, ‘This is what we could reduce, this is how we could consolidate classes.’ …
“In the first round, we identified, roughly, that we were just shy of a million dollars, but we have a long way to go. So round two is to go back and refine it some more and put the dollars beside it.”

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