Student Workers Have Hours Reduced

Adriana Orellana

Many Glendale Community College workers from multiple departments have been affected by the recent cut back on their hours, some as many as by 10 hours, as well as the Student Employment Department implementing a hiring freeze.

“We haven’t had a budget reduction, but we are taking these measures to stay within the budget, so that certain departments do not go over their allocated hours,” said Andra Verstraete, student employment director.

Every department has a certain amount of hours allocated for student workers, and the department managers distribute them.

One of the problems that Verstraete said was a cause for the hours reduction and hiring freeze was the over-hiring done and the extra amount of hours given to students that occurred.

“The cut in hours has affected everything in my life,” said Ivette Khanlarian, cafeteria student worker. “I depend on this income to help my family and now I had my 20 hours cut down to 10, and I need to re-budget.”

During previous years, the departments relied on the Oracle computer program to keep track and print out a report of the student workers and the hours that each one of them worked. Now, they are relying on the Online Time and Labor program, which is fairly new to the departments and it is harder to keep track of student workers’ hours because it is inputted by hand. Student Employment services is working with the IT in the development of programs.

Another problem is that certain departments have overrun their budgets by allowing students to work more hours, which will result in less hours for or the firing of student workers.

“As of right now, we have implemented the reduction of all the students’ hours to 10 hours per week. After we get all of this sorted out we might have to fire some students, and we will give priority to those student workers who work in departments where they are serving students rather than staff, such as in the Transfer Center, Cafeteria, Admissions and Records, and Financial Aid, amongst others,” said Verstraete.

Verstraete said that student workers should not be working more than 15 hours, and those who work up to 20 hours must do so with permission. Student workers are eligible to work if they have a minimum of six units. For students who have nine to 12 units, GCC is more lenient on them being fulltime workers.

“I had my hours cut down to 10 per week although I had received permission for 20 hours and I need to create a better budget,” said Ging Want, an international student from China who works in the cafeteria. “The worst part is that I cannot get a job outside of GCC because my student visa does not allow it.”

Although there have not been any budget reductions for the current school year, there have been reductions in previous years from where students get paid. Students get paid through College CEP, Federal Work Study, and Cal Works Work Study. Some of the funding got cut by more than half.

Student workers get hired through the Job Placement Center. They do not have to be eligible for financial aid, but those who fill out the FAFSA application may indicate if they are interested in becoming student workers at the school they attend. It is important to note that being a student worker is a temporary job, which is from semester to semester. This is fair for every student, because even newer student workers get the opportunity to work.

“Our main goals with the student worker program is to have students stay in school, obtain work experience, have an income supplement, and assist other students and departments,” said Verstraete.

In 2003, GCC had about 1,000 student workers, due to the high number of allocated hours. During the spring 2011 semester there are 519 student workers in about 65 departments.
Students may work up to 500 hours per year for a $4,000 student worker award payment.

“The student worker program will stay intact, and it will not decimate,” said Verstraete.