GUSD to present position cuts Thursday

The Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education will hear

A proposed resolution to reduce/restructure 24 classified
positions, eliminate two full time positions and one part time
position in the Gilroy Unified School District will be presented to
the GUSD Board of Education in a meeting Thursday at 7810 Arroyo
Circle.
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A proposed resolution to reduce/restructure 24 classified positions, eliminate two full time positions and one part time position in the Gilroy Unified School District will be presented to the GUSD Board of Education in a meeting Thursday at 7810 Arroyo Circle.

With Gov. Jerry Brown considering an all-cuts budget at the state level, which could see GUSD’s funding take hit as high as $10 million, the district will examine a resolution to cut three jobs in half, reduce two jobs by a quarter each and reduce 13 jobs by one month each. The resolution also includes the recommendation to eliminate one full-time and one part-time senior staff secretary at the district office, eliminate a full-time maintenance worker, eliminate 4.88 full time equivalent employees in the transportation department, reclassify a lead custodian and grounds worker position and eliminate two positions that are currently vacant.

If passed, the resolution would save an estimated $663,388 annually, which includes salary and associated statutory and medical benefits according to Kirsten Perez, director of Fiscal Services for GUSD.

The positions being examined include a handful of administrative jobs in the district office, as well as secretaries, custodians, transportation personnel, account clerks, registrars, office coordinators and maintenance worker positions.

In Thursday’s meeting Michelle Nelson, president of the Gilroy Teacher’s Association said a number of classified staff will likely be present to talk about “what will not get done, and will not get done on time” should their jobs be reduced or eliminated.

“There’s a lot of work that is done over the summer that is directly related to students,” she added.

The list of proposed classified reductions is just one cloud in a budget storm already shrouding the district in fiscal gloominess. In an open letter recently drafted to state Sen. Blakeslee, GUSD President Rhoda Bress touched on the gravity of cuts facing Gilroy schools.

“We are considering the unthinkable,” she wrote. “Cancellation of home-to-school transportation, closing of schools, decreasing school counseling hours, the elimination of important programs such as intervention classes for our neediest students, sports, and music, and more. In other words, we are slowly and painfully dismantling all that we have worked so hard to build.”

Teachers to raise budget awareness

Nelson is currently working on organizing various public gatherings throughout the week of Monday, May 9 through Friday, May 13 involving GUSD teachers. The purpose will be to inform the community on “devastating” cuts Gilroy schools will be facing without tax extensions, and what hits the district has already taken so far, according to Nelson.

“I just don’t see how the system can survive with more cuts,” she said. “We would have to close a school.”

In the past, Nelson said teachers have gotten creative with signs, and will likely be handing out informative fliers. Times and locations have not been squared away as of yet, but Nelson said gatherings will take place in several mornings and afternoons, possibly near the intersection of First Street and Wren, Nob Hill Foods at 777 First St. and Safeway at 905 First St.

Check back for updates on times and locations.

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