The Cuesta College Board of Trustees will be asked Wednesday to slash $2.9 million from the community college’s 2011-12 budget, impacting nearly 120 employees.
And the cuts won’t stop there. An additional $1.3 million will also need to be cut from staff and operating costs — likely through furloughs or pay cuts.
The majority of those employees affected would be forced to work fewer hours and receive less pay as a result. Six positions could also be eliminated.
The college must cut nearly $5.3 million from its roughly $46 million 2011-12 general fund to account for anticipated state budget cuts and to eliminate an ongoing $950,000 deficit.
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The trustees on Wednesday will consider a plan that will drastically reduce the hours of 43 nonteaching jobs, limit the number of classes taught by about 70 part-time faculty and lay off six people.
“The greatest concern was to keep as many people working as possible rather than trying to identify a larger number of positions to eliminate completely,” Cuesta President Gil Stork said. “We will impact more employees this way, but at the least we’ve been able to keep people working and let them keep their health benefits.”
In addition, the board will be asked to approve using $1.2 million in one-time money to help balance the budget.
The cuts, if approved, will go into effect by July 1.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget revision, expected in the next week, is said to contain a blend of spending cuts and tax extensions meant to close the state’s $15.4 billion deficit.
If Brown decides to fund community colleges at levels lower than the minimum mandated level guaranteed by Proposition 98, Cuesta’s expected deficit would grow to $7.8 million, according to Toni Sommer, vice president of administrative services.
Of the cuts being proposed now, the major impact on students will be a reduced number of classes, ranging from 100 to 300 fewer sections. That could potentially impact 500 to 1,500 students who would not be able to take the courses they need.
“We won’t be able to offer the same number of courses because the state is no longer going to pay for them,” Stork said. “That means that we will have to turn away students because we simply won’t be able to provide the classes that they need.”
The six jobs that are proposed to be cut include a math coordinator, two librarians, a secretary, an accountant and the supervisor of the South County program. Of those, two are full-time jobs.
The majority of the 43 jobs being reduced will go from a 12 months a year to 11 months — which translates into an 8.3 percent pay cut. Most of this reduction will be achieved by staff taking unpaid days off throughout the year.
The full impact on the cuts to part-time faculty is still unknown, but 70 teachers will teach fewer courses, and some of them might lose all of their classes.
Stork said the cuts are the worst that the college has faced in more than three decades.
Trustees will also be asked to approve a proposal that Stork and the college’s three vice presidents voluntarily reduce their salaries up to 5 percent for the 2011-12 fiscal year for a total savings of $36,390 to help with the budget shortfall.
Stork said he has met individually with all of the employees impacted by the cuts and plans to meet with part-time faculty members once the fall schedule is finalized.
Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.