School district works to minimize jobs lost

April 30, 2011

A school staff layoff plan appears to have somewhat smaller an impact than district officials had first thought.

Once the Hood River County School District's budget committee gave its approval to the administration's recommended budget reductions for the 2011-12 school year, the job fell to Human Resources Director Bob Dais to work out the details of the staff reduction part of the equation, before the final budget goes before the board for its adoption May 11.

At the board's personnel policy and procedure work session Wednesday evening, Dais gave the board an update on how things are going in that department.

"It's been a huge task," Dais said. "I'd say the climate of our staff is stressed."

The budget reductions required that Dais reduce personnel for 2011-12 by 10 classified staff positions, 22 licensed positions, 1.5 administrative positions and 1 confidential employee.

Dais and his assistant, Leslie McMorran, have been working to minimize the number of jobs lost by taking advantage of retirements, vacant positions and other opportunities for keeping teachers and staff employed.

The plan they came up with leaves a considerably smaller number without jobs next year - 4.75 positions - of the 12 employees getting some kind of reduction in hours.

Details on whose jobs those are won't be known until after the budget has been adopted. But, Dais said, "Tentative letters have been sent out, saying basically 'Your job is in jeopardy.' After the board adopts the budget, the final letters will be sent out."

The board is scheduled to vote on the budget at its next meeting, 7 p.m. May 11 at Pine Grove Elementary School.

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