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Saving Jobs

School Staff Takes Cuts

POSTED May 15, 2009 10:27 a.m.
The Oakdale Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved several action calendar items that resulted in across the board pay cuts, including for themselves, in order to save jobs and balance the budget at the regular meeting on May 11. However, with the cuts, some classified employee jobs still could not be spared.
One full time assistant dispatcher/transportation clerk position and two full time bus driver positions are being eliminated. A cafeteria assistant/custodian position is being reduced by 34 days.
Also, the district and Oakdale Teachers Association reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)) for the 2009-2010 school year that includes a 1.5 percent decrease in salary effective July 1 through June 30, 2010. The decrease to the salary schedule budget for the 2009-1010 school year is $291,989.
“This concession saved numerous jobs,” said OJUSD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Marc Malone.
“I think we’re all working together and I’m very appreciative,” said trustee Rick W. Jones.
The California School Employees Association (classified employees) also reached an MOU for 2009-2010 in that they too would take a 1.5 percent decrease in salary for the same time period. This results in a decrease to the salary budget of $100,217. Malone said that this concession also allowed the district to spare “several jobs.”
In keeping with the same theme, the Superintendent, Management, and Confidential employees also agreed to a salary decrease the same as the bargaining units at 1.5 percent. The total amount of savings for this salary schedule for this group is $55,353 for the same time period. The combined savings to the budget for all the employee group reductions is $447,877.
The Trustees are currently compensated at $322 per month and receive health benefits at the same rate as district classified employees. The current board will not take an increase for 2008-2009 and will also take a 1.5 percent cut for 2009-2010. Board compensation is set by state law according to district average daily attendance. State law allows trustees in OJUSD to receive an annual 5 percent increase.
“This proves this board leads by example, not by rhetoric,” said Superintendent Fred Rich.
The board also approved the recommended combination of expenditure reductions and flexibility of restricted funds to cut more than $2.5 million from the 2009-2010 budget. Some of the cuts include the aforementioned jobs, a school resource officer, the reduction of general fund contributions to high school and junior high school athletic transportation, reducing the contribution to technology, enforcing walking distance for in-town transportation, and more.
“We have to be able to survive this fiscal crisis in this state and this is one of the steps that are necessary,” said OJUSD Assistant Superintendent for Business Tim Hern about the budget cuts.
Student board member Evan Boggs presided over the meeting, as is custom for the board to allow the student member to do for the last board meeting of the school year.
“You have validated a choice to make students an active part of this board,” Rich told Boggs. “…The faith they (board) put in you was certainly well deserved.”
Trustee Jones added, “The student board member is a window to the student body…Evan has done a terrific job of keeping us informed…I think he’s done a tremendous job.”
Prior to the meeting a special reception was held to honor the OJUSD retirees. This year’s retirees include: OHS bilingual secretary II Rebecca Biedermann, Fair Oaks third grade teacher Patricia Corral, OHS Computer Education and Yearbook teacher Jeannie Hoeh, OHS Principal Rick Jones, Fair Oaks third grade teacher Loretta Mathies, OHS Chemistry teacher Michael McKibban, Magnolia first grade teacher Nancy Osmundson, OHS Dance teacher Lillian Usher, OHS Spanish teacher Suzanne Wilke, and Magnolia sixth grade teacher Pam Wright.
The next regular meeting of the OJUSD Board of Trustees will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 22 at the Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 No. Second.

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