117 Men's Colony workers get notices of possible layoffs

One hundred and seventeen California Men’s Colony employees were sent layoff notices starting Friday, along with about 26,000 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation workers across the state, as part of a cut in staffing.

The layoffs are the result of a corrections department reorganization after the passage of a new state law directing many low-level offenders to county jails.

The notices, which were sent to all department employees with 10 or fewer years of seniority, do not mean that all recipients will lose their jobs, according to corrections department spokesman Paul Verka.

At this point, the number of layoffs is an estimate, he said. Affected employees have three choices: transfer, demotion or termination. Some employees could apply to fill empty positions.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the corrections department can only process about 6,000 notices a day, so the news will continue going out into next week.

The state usually issues three warning notices for every position it intends to cut, the Bee said. This time, the department sent notices across a broad swath of job classifications. That will give it the flexibility it needs to abide by its employees’ contractual and civil service protections while officials fine-tune downsizing plans.

Under state law and union contracts, the layoffs cannot begin for 120 days, which would be Feb. 29.

A CMC union representative could not be reached for comment.

In fiscal year 2009-10 CMC employed 1,899 people.

For more details on the layoffs, visit www.cdcr.ca .gov/layoffresources/index.html#B.