Job cuts, elimination of winter intersession and mandatory furloughs were discussed by the Board of Trustees on July 18 as options for reducing expenditures by $10.5 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year. The options for drastic budget cuts were presented in a report from an ad-hoc subcommittee of the Board.

Under the heading “Actions we are able to take now,” the first item was a “reduction in force of hourly temporary unclassified workers of 50 percent.” This implies that some might lose their jobs. The action is said to save an estimated $3 million.

“The administration is doing everything it can to keep these cuts from instruction,” said President Mark Rocha during his presentation.

Another option presented was a reduction in the number of class sections by eliminating a further 578 of them during 2012-13. This would account for another $3 million in estimated savings.

No classes would be scheduled in winter session 2013, for an estimated saving of $1 million.

“We do propose the elimination of this winter session because we will have no classes,” Rocha told the Board. “Essentially there will be no students during winter session but still staff.”

Most of the drastic reductions would become necessary only in the event that Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase measure is rejected by voters in November.

The California Community College Chancellor’s office has advised districts to plan the cuts into their 2012-2013 budgets.

Also discussed was an option that administrators and staff be required take two mandatory five-day furloughs. The furloughs – time off without pay – would be a week at the start of winter and a week at spring break. Pay would be reduced in six installments between January and June.

The furloughs would have to be negotiated with non-faculty unions.

“This is a great opportunity for unions, students, and the Board to get together and talk,” said Trustee Berlinda Brown about the budget situation.

“[I think] we will be able to do good things. We need to take the bull by the horns and get it done. That’s what responsible people do…we have to [do] this for the students’ sake,” she said.

Also on the table was a recommendation to freeze step pay increases for faculty, estimated to save $740,000. This would require negotiation with the Faculty Association.

An option that would require agreement by the Academic Senate would be to increase class sizes by 20 percent from an average of 29 to 35 students. Estimated savings: $2.75 million.

Increasing sources of revenue was another recommendation of the sub-committee. One way to do this would be to increase the number of international students. “One thousand more international students could add $5 million,” Rocha said.

Trustee Bill Thomson said the November ballot will have two different education tax initiatives on it.

“There are two tax initiatives, one of which does nothing [for PCC]. It affects only K-12. If the other one (the Munger Initiative) passes, then we are really behind the ball.”

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