Cuesta OKs furloughs for nonteachers

The Cuesta College Board of Trustees has approved furloughs for nonteaching employees as a way to stave off layoffs and reinstate positions and assignment reductions made in the past couple of months.

The move comes after heated board meetings and staff combing budgets to determine how to save jobs amid a nearly $6 million budget shortfall.

Under the furlough plan approved Wednesday — which will save the district about $215,000 — full-time non-teaching employees will lose five hours of pay each month between now and June 30 — a total of 40 hours — spokeswoman Jill Ivie said. Part-timers will have their pay cut proportionally.

The school has about 214 classified employees. Of those, 155 are full time.

Full-time employees will be given the option to take five days off between now and June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

The college will now have enough money to bring back one of two positions cut in September and to reinstate all but one of 41 posts across campus that had been reduced over the past two months, Ivie said.

The 40 who had their assignments restored does not include employees from the Disabled Student Programs and Services office, which was facing cuts last month.

At its October meeting, the board decided to hold off on eliminating positions and reducing staff assignments to deal with a loss of about $261,000, or a nearly 52 percent cut in funding to the program.

The program receives separate funds for state-mandated programs, as do others such as Extended Opportunity Programs and Services. That money is referred to as categorical funds, which have been cut at levels from kindergarten through community college because of the state budget shortfall.

The board told staff Wednesday to craft a new proposal to deal with the shortfall. That plan is to be presented at the December board meeting and could include layoffs and other staff reductions.