Layoffs, pay cuts likely to rock Cuesta

Trimming of courses is also in the plans to deal with deficit of $3 million; trustees to decide

acornejo@thetribunenews.comMarch 13, 2012 

Eliminating 50 positions at Cuesta College, asking employees to take pay cuts and reducing the number of courses offered to students are among a series of severe budget cuts put forward by the college to contend with a $3 million deficit.

Cuesta President Gil Stork unveiled the plan Tuesday but has not yet specified which positions will be cut. The budget cuts will be taken to the Board of Trustees on April 4.

The 50 layoffs will affect management and classified workers and part-time faculty and will save the college about $1.4 million in the 2012-13 year.

Those employees who either lose their jobs or see their job duties change will be notified by Stork in coming weeks.

The cuts are in addition to the unprecedented elimination of two full-time teaching posts from the Disabled Students Programs and Services approved by the Board of Trustees last week.

The biggest impact on students will be 75 fewer class sections offered each semester, Stork said. Fewer classes are the result of the state reducing the amount of money its gives the college by about 700 full-time-equivalent students.

The $3 million shortfall is the result of sweeping cuts in state funding, increased payments on outstanding debt for prior building projects and built-in salary increases, among other inflationary expenses.

Teachers and nonteaching staff will also be asked to take a salary cut of up to 3 percent to save $519,136. Those cuts, either in the form of reduced salary or furlough days, must be negotiated with the college’s two employee unions, the Cuesta College Federation of Teachers and the Cuesta College Classified United Employees.

Management employees, including the college’s three deans and the executive dean of the North County campus, as well as supervisors and directors and all confidential employees, have also agreed to take a 5 percent cut in pay to save $278,000.

Stork said he also plans to offer a retirement incentive to faculty that could save the college up to $450,000. He said more than 50 teachers would qualify for the incentive. Of those, 10 are needed to reach the necessary savings.

The cuts follow similar reductions made last year when the board approved $2.9 million in cuts for the current 2011-12 budget.

Those cuts affected 43 nonteaching Cuesta workers who had their hours permanently reduced, equaling an 8.3 percent cut in pay, and about 70 part-time faculty members who had their course loads reduced or eliminated. Six people were also laid off, including two full-time workers.

However, the college was able to use money from its savings to offset some of the cuts.

“This year there is no discretionary money left,” Stork said. “Last year we had to cut people and things. This year the main impact is on our employees.”

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service